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Rivera Schatz Argues In Favor Of Voiding Ballots… Acevedo Won’t Consider Other Status Strategies, Supporters Asked To Remain Calm… Judge Limits Use Of Public Funds For PIP Reinscription … Calderon Says It’s Unfair For IAU To Continue Strike… Serrano Gets $1m In Fed Funds For Vieques

Rivera Schatz Argues In Favor Of Voiding Ballots

November 24, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – In an attempt to refute that the nullification of ballots goes against the fundamental rights of voters, the New Progressive Party election commissioner, Thomas Rivera Schatz, said Wednesday that in every election since 1980 between 4,000 to 6,000 ballots have been declared void.

Rivera Schatz grabbed a certification from the State Elections Commission to try to defend his position that they invalidate thousands of state ballots with mixed votes for more than one party.

"The certification issued by the SEC shows that since the elections of 1980 more than 30,000 ballots have been declared void, between 4,000 to 6,000 for each election. These numbers do not include the blank ballots, that add up to more than 28,000," he said in a statement.

He did not specify the "different" reasons for which the ballots were nullified.

Acevedo Vilá Won’t Consider Other Status Strategies Yet

November 24, 2004
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ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – The Popular Democratic candidate for governor, Aníbal Acevedo Vila, declined for now to comment on other alternatives to resolve the status issue, other than what he already proposed - a referendum at a Constitutional Assembly.

Acevedo Vila, who was preliminarily certified as the candidate with the most number of votes, did not comment on the possibility if he is confirmed he has to agree with the New Progressive Party, which won the Legislature, to initially promote the group’s proposal of the direct plebiscite, and if it fails, then convene the Constituent.

"I am not going to anticipate other strategies that do not comply with what I have proposed," Acevedo Vila said.

PDP Asks For Acevedo Vila Supporters To Be Calm

November 24, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – The secretary general of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP), Aníbal José Torres, on Wednesday asked Puerto Ricans who voted for Anibal Acevedo Vila in the election to stay calm as the court process continues.

Torres said the PDP is standing its ground and will not lower its guard despite the fact that NPP leaders intend to not adjudicate the ballots with three marks, the majority of which favor Acevedo Vila.

"I call upon all Puerto Ricans to have confidence in the process and in the people that day to day are ready to defend the vote issued by our people last Nov. 2," he said in a statement.

"What must prevail in each citizen is confidence and calm," he added.

The PDP already announced it will appeal to the Boston Circuit Court over the most recent decision of federal judge Daniel Dominguez, who said Tuesday he would assume jurisdiction with respect to the mixed votes which the NPP wants voided.

Judge Limits Use Of Public Funds For Reinscription By PIP

November 24, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) - By judicial order, the Puerto Rican Independence Party will have to limit the use of technological equipment acquired with public funds in the process of inscription, for which they have already collected 63,000 signatures.

Superior Judge Carlos Dávila Vélez limited the leadership of the group in their use of computers, photocopiers and printers in the collection of signatures between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday at the PIP offices.

Judge Dávila Vélez decided the State Elections Commission must take measures to increase the personnel and computers for use by groups of citizens interested in inscribing a party. Currently, the SEC only has two comuters for this kind of use and one employee who has the access password, said SEC lawyer Ramon Walker.

Governor Says It Is Unfair That IAU Will Continue Strike

November 24, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – While employees of the Independent Authentic Union marched on La Fortaleza, Gov. Sila M. Calderon said it "is not fair" that workers remain on the streets when there is a commitment by the government to continue negotiations on the collective agreement.

According to Calderon, an adviser from the Executive Mansion will receive a group on her behalf to pay attention to the specific claims the union will bring for her consideration.

"It is not fair that more than 4,000 families are not receiving their salary for all this time, more still when there is a willingness on our part to continue the negotiation," until the end, the governor said at La Fortaleza after a lunch with community leaders.

At the time of her statements, the demonstrators from the IAU were marching toward La Fortaleza.

About the incidents Tuesday between IAU demonstrators and the police, Calderon said the union must respect the rules of coexistence, however, she said that they have to protect the right to protest.

She said the police will continue "doing their job in a quiet and peaceful way."

The IAU gave up its efforts after more than five and a half weeks of negotiation on the collective agreement.

During the strike there were numerous acts of sabotage reported at Aqueduct and Sewer Authority facilities, and Tuesday, IAU members blocked some of the main roadways in the metro area.

Rep. Serrano Secures Over $1 Million In Federal Funding For Vieques Project

November 23, 2004
Copyright © 2004
Hindustan Times. All rights reserved. 

US Fed News

WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 -- Rep. José E. Serrano (D-NY), the only Member of Congress from New York City on the House Appropriations Committee, was able to secure $1 million in funding for environmental restoration on Vieques island, Puerto Rico by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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