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Puerto Rico governor calls for status plebiscite in November

It is a non-binding election that, according to Pedro Pierluisi, is intended to draw the attention of Congress to take action on political stability in the state.

(Screenshot from El Nuevo Día on YouTube)(Screenshot YouTube El Nuevo Día)

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Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi, called for a status referendum. The plebiscite will be held on the same day as the general elections, scheduled for November. This would be the seventh time that citizens have gone to the polls for this purpose in the territory.

According to the governor, his decision is backed by Law 165 from 2020, which allows him to call a plebiscite without the endorsement of the Legislative Assembly. According to Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día, the alternatives in the referendum will be statehood, free association or independence.

"This plebiscite consultation is a mechanism to put pressure on Congress, to demand action from Congress. To demand action from Congress to solve our status problem. Nothing carries more weight than the expression of our people. That is what self-determination is all about," said the governor when questioned about the non-binding nature of the consultation and the decisions he will make once he knows the results.

In that sense, Pierluisi stressed: "Here we must express ourselves as many times as necessary so that Congress knows that enough of this inequality, enough of the colony, that the people of Puerto Rico want to be respected and listened to," he added.

Despite the fact that the decision is announced just days after Pierluisi suffered an electoral defeat in his party's primary, he assured that the call for the plebiscite is not a political strategy.

"We saw it in 2020. The statehood option obtained more votes in its favor than any candidate in Puerto Rico, regardless of the party. It got more votes than the entire votes received by the NPP, which is the only party that defends statehood," said the governor, who also belongs to the Democratic Party.