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New Governor Elected in Puerto Rico

All links lead to texts in Spanish, unless otherwise noted.

They were hard-fought elections and there never was a clear trend even into the night of November 6, the day of the general elections in Puerto Rico. Finally, in the early morning of the following day it began to become clear that Alejandro García Padilla (@agarciapadilla) of the Partido Popular Democrático (Popular Democratic Party) (PPD) was the candidate for Governor chosen by Puerto Ricans. The PPD won by a landslide in the House of Representatives and the Senate. As is customary, people turned to Twitter to react on the results of the elections:

@judith192010: @agarciapadillaFelicidades al Gobernador electo q dios te ilumine en este nuevo camino. Exito y con Puerto Rico en el corazon.

Congratulations to the elected Governor may god enlighten you on this new path. Success and with Puerto Rico in my heart.

@gofred26: @agarciapadilla SOY PNP, pero te felicito, espero que sigan adelante por PR, deseo que en estos 4 años sea de trabajo y no tiraera…

I’m for PNP (Partido Nuevo Progresista) (New Progressive Party), but I congratulate you, I hope that things move for PR (Puerto Rico), I want these 4 years to be about work and not thrown away…

@sylviamhndz: Felicidades a @agarciapadilla 10 gobernador de PR, Dios y la Virgen iluminen su camino

Congratulations to @agarciapadilla 10th Governor of PR, God and the Virgin illuminate your way

@sandy_live: @agarciapadilla@ppdpr Mis respetos y felicitaciones x ese triunfo arrollador, pero NO es ganar, es mantenerse.De corazon espero ver cambio

My respect and congratulations for that overwhelming triumph, but it is NOT winning, it is persisting. From the heart I hope to see change

Alejandro García Padilla, Governor-elect. Image in the public domain. Taken from Wikimedia Commons.

García Padilla’s victory was less than 1% over his main opponent, the current Governor Luis Fortuño (@luisfortuno51) of the Partido Nuevo Progresista (New Progressive Party) (PNP), according to the official results of the State Elections Commission. However, García Padilla’s running mate and candidate for Resident Commissioner, Rafael Cox Alomar (@coxalomar), did not prevail against his main opponent, the incumbent Pedro Pierluisi (@pedropierluisi) of the PNP.

Apparently, this result was due to the vote of the PNP supporters displeased with Governor Fortuño and last-minute backing from voters who sympathized with the emerging parties, Puertorriqueños por Puerto Rico (Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico) (PPR), Movimiento Unión Soberanista (Sovereign Union Movement) (MUS) and Partido del Pueblo Trabajador (Working People’s Party) (PPT). The latter three failed to attain 1% of the votes. The Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican Independence Party) (PIP) managed little more than 2.5% of the votes. None achieved the minimum quantity needed to be officially registered as a party, so will have to restart the process of getting endorsements to stay enrolled.

@gypsy718: La gente dice q los partidos emergentes decidieron, pienso que fueron los mismos estadistas indignados, +20mil votos Pierluisi

People say that the emerging parties decided it, I think that it was the same outraged statesmen, + 20thousand Pierluisi votes

@KARENNYHERNANDE: AGP no olvides que un PAIS se levanta con el esfuerzo de TODOS.RECUERDA que los partidos emergentes confiaron en TI.Hay q contar con ellos

AGP don’t forget that a COUNTRY rises up with the effort of ALL. REMEMBER that the emerging parties relied on YOU. You must rely on them

@ecc101: Si Alejando Garcia Padilla derroto a Fortuño para el próximo cuatrienio los partidos emergentes tienen posibilidades.

If Alejando [sic] Garcia Padilla defeated Fortuño for the next four years the emerging parties have possibilities.

@aineKis: Si los partidos emergentes quieren ganar, serán necesarias las coaliciones y alianzas. #2016

If the emerging parties want to win, it will take coalitions and alliances. #2016.

@iranrodz: Si los partidos emergentes se unieran con el PIP bajo un nuevo partido sería perfecto.

If the emerging parties united with the PIP (Puerto Rico Independence Party) under a new party it would be perfect.

The user @latitanica went further to recall that it was this same PNP that with the recent amendments to the electoral code brought about the creation of the new parties. Some believe that the objective was to weaken the PPD and take away voters who traditionally vote in their favour through offering the possibility of beating the PNP, even though they do not necessarily share their ideology:

@latitanica: A los emergentes: no se desanimen. La creación de partidos fue con propósito vil. Trabajemos en hacerlo bien y darle mejores herramientas.

To the emerging parties: do not be discouraged. This creation of parties was despicable. Let's work to make it right and provide better tools.

In terms of the status plebiscite that was held along with general elections, the voters rejected continuing with the current relationship with the United States, winning the NO with slightly more than 50% of the votes. The favoured status option was the annexation to the United States (statehood), winning with more than 60% of the votes. The sovereign Commonwealth won little more than 33% and independence slightly more than 5.5%. It is the first time in the political history of Puerto Rico that statehood was favoured in a status referendum. However, it must be added that there was a very high number of blank ballots and ballots which voters damaged as a gesture of protest (486,080 in total, at the time of writing this article), so it is expected that the United States Congress will determine that the referendum does not decisively reflect a preference for the political status of the island. Of course, there were countless reactions on Twitter:

@miriampabon1: Un plebiscito es una encuesta. Las encuestas mal construidas producen malos resultados. El plebiscito de ayer tuvo mala construccion.

A plebiscite is a survery. Poorly constructed surveys produce bad results. Yesterday's plebiscite was poorly constructed.

@CarlosJSagardia: El resultado del plebiscito constituye un mandato claro del pueblo.Es menester atenderlo con la seriedad que amerita y elevarlo al Congreso

The result of the plebiscite constitutes a clear mandate from the people. We need to give it the serious attention it deserves and raise it to the Congress

@justo_y_franco: PPD toma resultado plebiscito livianamente. La noticia está regada por el mundo y no veo objeción de ellos

PPD takes the plebiscite result lightly. The news has spread to the world and I see no objection from them

@CJavz92: AGP que paso con tu slogan de “Primero la gente” ?Por tu bien mas vale que hagas tu trabajo bien con lo del plebiscito.

AGP what happened with your slogan of “People first”? For your own good it’s worth doing your work with the plebiscite well.

@AnaTeresaToro: Me llama la atención el hecho de que se pensó en el plebiscito como una estrategia para que el PNP afianzara su voto y, sin embargo…

I am struck by the fact that the plebiscite was thought of as a strategy for the PNP to reinforce their vote and yet…

@pjc1964: Mi pregunta es, si El PPD se niega a ejercer el mandato del plebiscito, se podrá demandar jurídicamente a que cumpla?

My question is, if the PPD refuses to exercise the mandate of the plebiscite, will it be legally possible to sue to enforce it?

@viachabs: Gente que ni votaron en el plebiscito quejandose de los resultados del estatus.Hubieses votado y quizas seria otro caso!!

People who didn’t vote in the plebiscite complaining about the results of the status. Had you voted, maybe it would be a different case!

@Maribelt2011: Vamos a hacer con este plebiscito lo mismo que los pnp's hicieron con el referendum de la unicameralidad #écharloalzafacón

We are going to do with this plebiscite what the pnp's did with the unicameralism referendum #écharloalzafacón

@lin091954: Las papeleta en Blanco del plebiscito,son votos de protesta!cuentan tambien encontra de estadidad!

The blank ballots in the plebiscite,are protest votes!count them against statehood as well!

@PRSURFF: Hagan un plebiscito asi: Estadidad SI o NO y observarán…

Do a plebiscite like this: Statehood YES or NO and they’ll see…

@BenjaminMorales: Por otro lado, el PIP parece haber cometido un serio error estratégico al apoyar el plebiscito. #elecciones2012

On the other hand, the PIP appears to have commited a serious strategic error by supporting the plebiscite. #elecciones2012

@yo_el: Me encanta como el PIP simplemente hace malavares con los resultados del plebiscito para crear la más mínima esperanza por la independencia.

I love how the PIP just juggles with the results of the plebiscite to create the slightest hope for independence.

@chris31jct: La papeleta del plebiscito será el nuevo papel sanitario en la Fortaleza a partir de Enero.

The ballot for the plebiscite will be the new toilet paper in the Fortress beginning in January.

@gret2090: Es más, el plebiscito no tiene ningún efecto, ni lo tendrá.Apúntenlo!!

Moreover, the plebiscite has no effect, nor will it have. Make a note of it!

And, finally, after 12 years as Mayor of San Juan, Jorge Santini (@JorgeASantini), of the PNP, lost to Carmen Yulín Cruz of the PPD (@CarmenYulinCruz) who only announced her candidacy seven months ago. In that time, Cruz managed to bring voters of diverse ideologies together and convince the people of San Juan that a change in the capital city is necessary.

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