Rosselló eligibility case won’t be brought before top court this week

By John McPhaul

The case challenging former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares’ eligibility as a congressional delegate elected for the purpose of lobbying for statehood for Puerto Rico will not be filed before the island Supreme Court until some time next week, said Nelson Rosario, the Dignity Project delegate to the State Elections Commission (SEC) who filed the original case in San Juan Superior Court.

“A case filed before the Supreme Court has to be carefully measured, so we are taking out time to make sure we do it properly,” Rosario told the STAR on Tuesday.

Rosario said he has nothing against Rosselló personally, but is only fulfilling his duty as a delegate to the SEC to see that the law is obeyed in all cases.

Rosario maintains that Rosselló cannot be a delegate to the U.S. Congress because he does not maintain a residence in either Puerto Rico or Washington, D.C., as mandated by the Puerto Rico Electoral Code.

He said the Dignity Project’s stance on Puerto Rico’s political status has nothing to do with the case.

According to the party’s bylaws, party members can vote their consciences on status plebiscites, he said.

Rosario said he voted for statehood in the most recent status plebiscite.

A lower court agreed with Rosario’s petition and banned Rosselló from holding the statehood lobbyist position, a ruling that was overturned by an Appeals Court last week.

Popular Democratic Party Electoral Commissioner Gerardo Cruz Maldonado maintains that the Appeals Court erred in failing to rule on Rosselló’s residence as required by Section 7.5 of the Electoral Code, and gave Rosselló a position as congressional delegate based strictly on the popular vote he received in the May special election to select the six delegates to lobby for statehood in the U.S. Congress.

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