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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Suspended Ponce mayor says he won’t give up his candidacy; PDP will go to court

Suspended Ponce Mayor Luis Manuel Irizarry Pabón

By The Star Staff

Suspended Ponce Mayor Luis Manuel Irizarry Pabón said on Wednesday that he will not give up his candidacy for re-election under the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) banner.

“I am innocent! I am protected by the constitutions of Puerto Rico and the United States and my constitutional rights are being violated,” Irizarry Pabón said in a written statement. “I have been visiting my Ponce communities, where they have received me with joy and support. They repeatedly tell me: ‘Doctor, don’t leave, we are with you!’ For that and all the previous reasons I want to make it clear that, I DO NOT QUIT! In the midst of this hoax, there is no reason to leave my position and my candidacy.”

“As your servant, Dr. Luis Manuel Irizarry Pabón, your mayor and certified candidate, I am here standing and facing you,” he added. “I will continue here to serve my Ponce and my beloved Ponceños. In Ponce, we Ponceños decide!”

An agreement reached between Irizarry Pabón, Rep. Ángel “Tito” Fourquet Corder, and PDP Secretary General Gerardo Antonio “Toñito” Cruz Maldonado included a deadline of Feb. 28, 2024 for the mayor to renounce his candidacy for re-election.

Cruz Maldonado said Irizarry Pabón will be sued in court to comply with the agreement.

“This unilateral action denotes lack of words, indiscipline and a challenge to the decisions of the institution, revealing his personal interest above those of the Popular Democratic Party,” Cruz Maldonado said at a press conference. “Given that Dr. Irizarry Pabón informed us that he will renounce his candidacy, the Popular Democratic Party will officially be going to court to enforce the agreement and maintain order in the institution. The regulations of the Popular Democratic Party in its articles 6 and 7 establish the obligation of each [PDP] member to comply with the agreements that are signed and contracted with our institution. Without exception, no one can violate these agreements.”

“The Electoral Code, even, recognizes the power of a political party to go to court to remove an applicant or a candidate who, after having been certified by his party, violates its regulations,” he added.

Cruz Maldonado said he will present the legal appeal before Friday. Consequently, the defendant would have a period of some 10 days to file an opposing petition.

The preliminary hearing in a public corruption case against Irizarry Pabón will continue on March 14 and 15.

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1 comentario

William Rosa
William Rosa
29 feb

Mr. Irrizarry Pabon may think and portrays the image that the people of Ponce are with him; however, he is playing the same game the PPD/PNP had played for the past 74 years. Let's repeat ourselves until our inaccuracies begin to sound like solid truths. Unfortunately, the political growth of the Puerto Rican people and, the current political environment renders that strategy obsolete and really naive. I believe it might be a better option for Mr. Irrizarry Pabon to save face and move on to the next stage of his life.

PR don't need people like him at this historical juncture. There are new ideas in the air and voices calling out the malaise of the colony while shining light…

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