PDP House candidate: Electoral Commission hearing should be broadcast live

By John McPhaul

The complaint before the Appellate Court requesting the dismissal of State Elections Commission (SEC) Chairman Juan Ernesto Dávila for breach of duty and negligence in the performance of his duties “should be broadcast live” in the opinion of Yaramary Torres, a Popular Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the House of Representatives, who filed the complaint.

“Whether on local television or via internet streaming, this impeachment procedure is of great importance for all of Puerto Rico and we will respectfully request it from the Court,” Torres said.

On Monday the case was accepted by the court and the other cases on the same subject were consolidated with the PDP candidate’s complaint.

“The lawyers have already been instructed to deliver all the documentary evidence and the list of witnesses in the case tomorrow, Wednesday at 2 in the afternoon, so we believe that it will be attended to with the urgency that is required,” Torres said.

The complaint seeking the ouster of Dávila, the second SEC chairman in the current four-year term who was appointed in September 2018 by then-Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares, is based on what the plaintiffs claim is the proven premise that he restricted, limited and altered the right to democratically choose candidates for elective positions in both the PDP and the New Progressive Party (NPP) during the recent party primaries.

“Here we are not looking to privilege one party over another. What we want is that voters can have the opportunity to trust their electoral system again,” Torres said. “Naturally, to achieve that, it cannot be chaired by a person who has been highly incompetent. Dávila had already said that after the general election he would retire, and something or someone made him change his mind. And that is unacceptable.”

Likewise, the complaint filed by PDP Electoral Commissioner Nicolás Gautier was consolidated with Torres’.

“The Appellate Court seems to be ready to validate the statements issued by the Supreme Court in [NPP gubernatorial candidate Pedro] Pierluisi et al. vs. SEC, where that forum resolved that the chairman of the SEC acted negligently and breached the Electoral Code,” Gautier said. “Let’s hope that Juan Ernesto Dávila reconsiders and resigns before he is dismissed in an embarrassing way due to his incompetence.”

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