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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Suspensions lifted as PDP irons out differences on Electoral Code

Ortiz González requests dialogue with governor on SEC appointment

Popular Democratic Party President Jesús Manuel Ortiz González

By The Star Staff

After several days of dialogue, Popular Demo-cratic Party President Jesús Manuel Ortiz González announced Monday that he managed to reach agreements with the speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate president on House Bill (HB) 1822, which contains amendments to the Electoral Code.

onal endorsement of our party, in coordination and communication with our legislative delegations. The main objective has to be to achieve a reliable and unquestionable electoral system.”

For his part, House Speaker Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez said that as part of the agree-ment the House will only concur with the approval of HB 1822 if the bill includes amendments that are a product of agreements with the speaker.

“With humility, I recognize the importance of this agreement for the benefit of the future of our in-stitution, and with maturity I rectify the deficiencies of our communication during this process,” Hernández Montañez said in a written state-ment.

Ortiz González went on to say that as a result of the understand-ing reached with the legislative leaders, he re-scinded the disciplinary measures imposed on the speaker and several other House members on Aug. 23, along with the convocation of the party’s General Council on Sept. 10.

On another front, Ortiz González on Monday rejected the appointment by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia of Judge Jorge Rivera Rueda as chairman of the State Elections Commission (SEC), a matter for which he requested the opportunity to dialogue with the governor.

“What cannot happen -- and I am going to take advantage of this moment to also make a call to the governor -- the governor has to sit down and talk in good faith,” Ortiz González said in a press confer-ence. “And the governor has to understand that the fact that he has, and his party, a majority that gives him the possibility of governing, that does not mean that they are masters of the process of improving the electoral system.”

“Here we have a commission without a chair-man, without a proper chairman, at a time when deci-sions are being made about the upcoming electoral cycle. And my call is for him to feel like negotiating seriously,” the PDP president added. “That appoint-ment he made recently is not a serious appointment. [It is] a person who has already been rejected twice, who he knew did not have the endorsement of the electoral commissioners, nor did he have it in the Legislative Assembly. That demonstrates that [the governor] did not, they have not, taken the amend-ments and attention to the electoral system seriously. So, the doors are open to dialogue, but there must be on their side, I mean the NPP [New Progressive Party] and Governor Pierluisi, a genuine desire to address electoral issues that are important.”

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