Thursday, November 8, 2012

Puerto Rico: Sixty-One Percent of Non-Binding Voters in Favor of Becoming 51st State

According to EFE, Puerto Rico's national vote on Tuesday (November 6), for the first time in its history revealed that the majority of Puerto Ricans (61%) expressed support for US statehood, even though the referendum vote was non-binding.

The result of Tuesday's vote is truly significant, as it is the first time that so many Puerto Ricans have voted for US statehood. The vote also revealed that 33.31% of the island's population supported continued commonwealth status whereas only 5.53% of the voters were in favor of total independence.

The opposition Popular Democratic Party, whose candidate Alejandro Garcia Padilla won the gubernatorial contest, favors maintaining commonwealth status. The referendum was the initiative of now-outgoing Gov. Luis Fortuño, whose New Progressive Party advocates statehood.

COMMENT: Puerto were granted US citizenship in 1917, yet they cannot vote in presidential elections, even Puerto Ricans living in the continental United States can.

Since 1952, the island has been a self-governing, unincorporated territory of the United States with broad internal autonomy, but without the right to conduct its own foreign policy.