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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

NPP lawmakers reject second-round voting in gubernatorial elections

By The Star Staff

New Progressive Party (NPP) Reps. José Aponte Hernández, Víctor Parés Otero, Yashira Lebrón Rodríguez, José “Cheito” Hernández Concepción and Ángel Morey Noble expressed their opposition on Tuesday to a House substitute bill for concurrent resolutions 12 and 30, which establishes a second round of voting if no gubernatorial candidate achieves 50 percent of the votes in a general election.

“We are against the substitute [measure] that makes it possible to amend Section 1 of Article IV and Section 4 of Article VI of the Constitution so that it is required that a person to be elected governor must have 50 percent of the votes or go to a second round, a second election,” the legislators said in a written statement. “This type of system, known as ‘Instant Runoff Voting’ far from being a panacea, is a confusing system that leaves out the democratic exercise of going to the polls on election day. In conclusion, this is an attempt by the Popular Democratic Party to try to appear to be the second electoral force in Puerto Rico.”

What the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) wants, “in its attempt to appear relevant, is to confuse the electorate in Puerto Rico,” they added.

“What this does is that candidates without much support can sit down to negotiate for a second round, instead of allowing the candidate with the most votes to win,” the lawmakers said. “This is without adding that what will happen is great confusion in the people and lower electoral participation, because some will say Why vote? It’s a bad measure for our democracy.”

“This measure seeks to implement alliances between candidates who are not in favor of the People in the general election in order to have a chance to win,’ they continued. “But examples in Latin America, such as Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in 1998, show that those alliances that the Popular Party wants to make do not work and lead to dislocation in government, because they are different visions of public administration. If they want 50 percent or more, why didn’t the PDP accept the results of the status consultation? Simple, because they only care about seeing themselves as the second party in Puerto Rico and are desperate to make alliances for it.”

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