The San Juan Daily Star
PDP ‘in a crisis’ but there’s hope for consensus
By The Star Staff
Puerto Rico Mayors Association President Luis Javier Hernández Ortiz acknowledged Wednesday that the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) is facing an internal crisis.
“Of course there is a crisis, but all parties are going through a crisis,” the Villalba mayor said at a press conference following a meeting with the heads of several agencies on post-Hurricane Fiona recovery progress.
Hernández Ortiz said he has not yet consulted his PDP counterparts on what will be done with the amendments to the regulations that they are supposed to evaluate in the party assembly next month.
“We don’t know if the amendments to the regulations we presented will be separated from those worked on in the governing board,” he said. “We do not know if there will be a dialogue committee that will lead us to reach an agreement at the assembly. Because if not, the spirit of the Regulations Assembly could turn into something else.”
“Once we listen to all the mayors, I assure you that there will be an institutional position or, otherwise, there will be the possibility of seeking a consensus,” he added.
Hernández Ortiz, who is also president of the party’s regulation committee, insisted that a meeting with the opponents of the amendments (Jesús Manuel Ortiz González, Carlos “Charlie” Delgado Altieri, Carmen Maldonado González and Gerardo Antonio “Toñito” Cruz Maldonado) should be called as soon as possible to reach a consensus before the assembly. However, he did not specify a proposal for reaching that consensus.
“If there is no consensus, everyone loses,” Hernández Ortiz said. “I am hopeful that everyone will give in. I am willing to give in; the question is: are the others willing to give in?”
The contested amendments were included by former senator Antonio Fas Alzamora and House Speaker Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez at the party governing board meeting on Oct 14. According to opponents, the amendments included by the governing board in a 9 to 6 vote are aimed at leaving PDP President José Luis Dalmau Santiago in office until December 2023.
Recently, in a written statement, PDP leaders Delgado Altieri, Maldonado González, Ortiz González, Cruz Maldonado, Héctor Ferrer Sánchez and Pablo José Hernández issued the following remarks on the amendments to the rules published by the party:
“The amendments to the bylaws literally cross out the right of the PDP to vote for their president. They also extend the current president’s term until December 2023 by creating a new executive committee and keeping him as president of that committee. We will say no to the amendments on November 13.”
The PDP leaders said they would soon be making their positions known regarding other amendments that alter the party’s internal processes.