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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

PDP president in strained relations with party women

Popular Democratic Party President José Luis Dalmau Santiago

By John McPhaul

José Luis Dalmau Santiago cannot be president of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) and president of the Senate at the same time, PDP Women President Ada Álvarez Conde said Tuesday.

“I think it’s a mistake and we have to evaluate it,” Álvarez Conde said in a radio interview. “His statements have been crass and I think that being president of both bodies, of a party and of the Senate, has done him a lot of damage and that is something that should be seriously evaluated. Because this time that was the line that harmed not only the women, but also the party.”

Álvarez Conde insisted that the PDP governing board must convene and resolve the situation created by Dalmau Santiago’s statements on abortion.

“I believe that the governing board must decide and must examine all the possibilities,” she said. “But for my part, two possibilities should be explored: that the damage has already been done and continues to be done as time passes. Second, we must make it clear, once and for all, they must consult the people who know and we should have a clear position so as not to be failing on the issue of human rights, sex, gender, women, where we have already messed up before and it is unsustainable. And that of the topics being left under the rug and not being talked about, because it is no longer an option.”

Attorney Ivonne Lozada, who was fired from an adviser position in the Senate for criticizing Dalmau Santiago’s position, maintained that “her friend of more than 30 years” is under a lot of pressure.

“I don’t want to use the word shame, because it sounds derogatory, but I know that he has a lot of pressure on him and it’s difficult for him,” Lozada said. “Including the transition from district senator to suddenly assuming the presidency of the party and of the Senate and perhaps not being used to handling national issues of such depth as these. I know that he is very affected, I know that he is stressed.”

PDP Vice President Carmen Maldonado said in a radio interview on Radio Isla 1320 that Dalmau Santiago does not have the time necessary to attend to party matters.

Meanwhile, Dalmau Santiago said Tuesday that the PDP governing board will hold a meeting this month at Maldonado’s request.

“It is planned for this month,” Dalmau Santiago said in an interview on Radio Isla.

“As part of the ordinary meeting that the [PDP] governing board is going to have, other matters are to be addressed and any colleague who belongs to the board can bring that matter up for discussion by the governing board,” he added.

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