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Platform of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP)

Source: “The new agenda of status of the PDP,” by Jose Delgado, El Nuevo Dia, June 7, 2012

“The PDP reaffirms that the Commonwealth is the option of status that best represents the aspirations of the People of Puerto Rico.  Well-governed by those who recognize its potential, the Commonwealth offers the greatest opportunities for progress and development for every Puerto Rican, compared to statehood or any other form of independence.

The PDP strongly supports the development of the Commonwealth to the highest of autonomy compatible with the principles of permanent union with the United States and American citizenship of Puerto Ricans.  The Popular Party rejects any modification of status that deviates from these principles and that threatens our Puerto Rican nationality or that harms our linguistic or cultural identity.

The PDP reaffirms the validity of the Commonwealth as an autonomous political body, founded on a pact of union established in 1952, based on the exercise of sovereignty of the people of Puerto Rico, which is not nor should be subject to the plenary powers of the United States Congress.  We recognize, however, that there are differences of opinions among the people of Puerto Rico about our political relationship with the United States.

Let’s respect the ideological aspirations of the members of other parties that prefer statehood or independence.  Also, we recognize the right of the people to decide the status of their choice without undue or improper manipulation of the process.  Therefore, we reaffirm that the whole process of status has to be truly democratic and based on the principals of fairness and fair treatment.

Where we are going

In March 2011, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, took the historic step of committing to support “any fair and transparent effort to determine the will of the people of Puerto Rico” the Report from the President’s Task Force on the Status of Puerto Rico (Task Force Report) page 26.  He repeated this commitment during his visit to Puerto Rico.  Unfortunately, the governor (Luis) Fortuño Burset, the resident commissioner Pedro Pierluissi and the PNP have dismissed the president’s commitment.  In its place they have legislated a plebiscitary process that is not fair or transparent.

In anticipation of the above, the President’s Task Force recommended that if the plebiscite “does not produce a decisive result in the short term, the executive branch, Congress and the interested parties in Puerto Rico would attempt to draft federal legislation as quickly as possible” (Task Force Report, page 36) “to provide clear information about each option before the vote” (Task Force Report, page 34) and outlines “the series of steps that should be taken for each one of the options of status become a reality without the need for another act of Congress” (Task Force Report, page 34).  This action would be self-executing.

In January 2013, the Governor of the Commonwealth Alejandro García Padilla, the Resident Commissioner Rafael Cox Alomar, the presidents of the political parties that represent the options of status and wish would to join this effort, I will ask the President of the United States to implement recommendation number 7 from the Task Force Report, and begin drafting legislation to offer the people of Puerto Rico the opportunity to vote for those options of status that the President and Congress are willing to offer by self-executing legislation.  This process will be discussed with all the political parties and sectors of civil society, with the White House and Congress.

If within one year, the White House has not complied with its promise, to present a bill before Congress to direct a consult in which the United States agrees to comply with the complete decision of the people of Puerto Rico, the Governor will push on a Constitutional Assembly to address the topic of status.   To this end, the PDP formally commits to legislate to establish a Constitutional Assembly on Status.

Any revision of status that is recommended as a result of that Constitutional Assembly must be submitted to the voters in a special referendum as an indispensable requisite for its approval or rejection.”




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