The representative Jose Enrique “Quiquito” Melendezof the New Progressive Party (PNP), confirmed this Thursday that the lobbyist Elias Sanchez Sifonte is part of the campaign team of the resident commissioner in Washington, Jennifer Gonzalezwho is evaluating a candidacy for governor of La Palma.
Melendez, who had previously expressed himself in favor of Gonzalez, also indicated that he will remain “neutral” if a primary arises for the gubernatorial candidacy between Gonzalez and the governor. Pedro Pierluisi. He opined, in passing, that the New Progressives do not favor this race.
“I made the inquiries and, obviously, they certified me (from the Gonzalez campaign) that he (Sanchez) is there, in the campaign. I wouldn’t be making this decision without being sure of what’s going on. Elias Sanchez is in the campaign, I am not going to be in the campaign. Wherever that man is, I will not be”Melendez stressed in an interview with The new day.
The representative added that “in my tours around the island, I have been seeing the feeling of the base against a primary and that feeling coincides with what we see in the polls. For this reason, I have promoted dialogue between the two campaigns.”
Sanchez Sifonte was the governor’s representative before the Fiscal Supervision Board under the administration of Ricardo Rossello Nevaresto whom he directed the campaign during the 2016 elections. Prior to the resignation of Rossello Nevares, it emerged that Sanchez Sifonte was one of the people who, like the former governor and some of his officials, participated in the controversial chat that caused the indignation of the people, who demanded the resignation of the first executive.
The new day He requested an interview with the resident commissioner today, but Gonzalez canceled the commitment after having confirmed that he would answer questions.
“Hurt” the PNP
On the other hand, Melendez stated that, if there is a primary for the gubernatorial candidacy, “the PNP, as an institution, is hurt.”
“(He is hurt) by the possibility that the injuries caused will promote the abstention of a sector of the party and, when the PNP electorate abstains, the electoral result is adverse”said.
Within the PNP, according to PNP sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, there is fear that a primary between Gonzalez and Pierluisi will have the effect of the community losing control of the government in the next elections due to the rifts that may remain between the sides and because, in 2020, the governor won with only 33% of the electorate’s favor, the lowest in the island’s political history.
In fact, at the annual convention of the PNP, held in August, the vice president of la Palma, Thomas Rivera Schatzdirectly addressed the topic.
“Some people have been raising the possibility of a primary and they believe that here, in the PNP, someone is afraid of primaries. Is anyone here afraid of the primaries? Are we ready for the primaries? Well, let’s move forward, because the PNP always unites and we move forward in 2024,” Rivera Schatz then shouted to the audience.
In August, The new day He contacted the treasurer of Gonzalez’s campaign committee, Oriol Camposto ask who else was collaborating with them, besides Anibal Vega Borges, former representative and former mayor of Toa Baja, who is in charge of the electoral scaffolding. They were specifically asked if they collaborated with the Sanchez campaign, Katy Erazo, Angel Cintronthe mayor of Bayamon, Ramon Luis Cruzand Francisco Domenech, among others. The repeated response was: “he has no role in the campaign.”
“She (Gonzalez) has announced Anibal Vega Borges as the electoral director. She will, in due course, make additional announcements about the campaign. Announcements will be made at the appropriate time. “I am not authorized to say who will have a role in the campaign,” Campos said.
Today, Thursday, when called by The new dayCampos indicated: “We have no comments on the expressions of our friend Quiquito.”