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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Natal defends PIP-MVC alliance against claims that it is a sham

Citizen Victory Movement General Coordinator Manuel Natal Albelo, left, and Puerto Rican Independence Party Secretary General Juan Dalmau Ramírez. The Citizen Victory Movement and Puerto Rican Independence Party will each field a candidate for governor and for resident commissioner, but will support the latter’s gubernatorial candidate and the former’s candidate for the Washington D.C. post.

By The Star Staff

Citizen Victory Movement (MVC by its Spanish initials) General Coordinator Manuel Natal Albelo on Thursday defended the alliance announced earlier this week with the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) from claims that it is a sham.

Natal Albelo described it as ironic that Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia called the alliance confusing since his own political party caused the situation.

“Now that we aim to defeat them [the New Progressive Party (NPP) and Popular Democratic Party (PDP)] with their own rules, they say that it is more confusing, that it is more complicated,” Natal Albelo said on a radio program.

He asserted that fear reigns in the NPP and PDP.

The MVC and the PIP have agreed to comply with the requirements established by the Electoral Code. Each party will present a candidate for governor, a candidate for resident commissioner, an at-large House candidate and an at-large Senate candidate, and 39 candidates for mayor along with their respective municipal assembly slates.

The two parties agreed, however, to support the PIP’s gubernatorial candidate and the MVC’s candidate for resident commissioner.

They also agreed to compete for the at-large House and Senate races.

Regarding the House district seats, the two parties will submit an equal distribution of candidates to avoid district competition as much as possible.

The MVC will have a candidate for each Senate district, as will the PIP.

The PIP will submit candidates for mayor in four towns where the MVC does not have candidates.

Likewise, the MVC will field candidates for mayor in four municipalities, including San Juan, where the PIP will not offer a candidate. Both parties will compete in races in the remaining municipalities.

Natal said the two parties will share strategies to educate voters about how to vote, but also urged the State Elections Commission to join the effort, as it is its duty.

PDP and NPP officials, meanwhile, said the alliance is a deception and a trick.

PDP General Coordinator Gabriel López Arrieta said the change demanded by the PIP and the MVC is not a reality.

“This is a meeting of deception,” he said. “That is the combination of you saying you do not believe in bipartisanship. Still, at the end of the day, two parties come together with the main purpose of not losing the electoral franchise [...].”

López Arrieta, a PDP candidate for an at-large House seat, also criticized the two minority parties for not having achieved significant changes from the Legislature.

He said asking MVC militants, for whom status is not the focus, to give their vote to candidates who promote independence seems unusual.

Meanwhile, NPP Secretary General Hiram Torres Montalvo said the MVC-PIP alliance is just a pretense.

“This is nothing more than a trick, a mistake on the part of the Independence Party,” he said. “The Citizen Victory Movement will not achieve any other result than to confuse the voters. Here, what must be emphasized is that I believe that the Citizen Victory Movement has already made itself clear that the status formula it promotes is independence for Puerto Rico.”

Torres Montalvo denied that the NPP fears the alliance and insisted that the pro-statehood party will gain strength by 2024.

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