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News > Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico: Parliament Debates Repeal of the Electoral Code

  • Electoral officials count votes, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2020.

    Electoral officials count votes, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @lanoticiasv

Published 28 January 2021

Most political parties reject the electoral norms approved by former Governor Wanda Vazquez in June 2020.

Puerto Rico's Parliament Thursday is set to debate possible amendments or the repeal of the controversial Electoral Code approved in June last year.


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The debates will be held in the Commission for the Study and Evaluation of Puerto Rican Constitutional Law, which approved its procedures on Tuesday.

Opposed by all parties with the exception of the ruling New Progressive Party (NPP), the 2020 code established reforms to the State Elections Commission (CEE) and allowed greater flexibility in the absentee and advance votes.

"Our electoral system must be rethought, from the law itself to the very structure of the CEE. It is time to carry out a serious exercise in which all parties sit down to find common ground and reach consensus to restore its credibility," lawmaker Jose Varela said.

On Jun. 20, 2020, former Governor Wanda Vazquez approved the electoral code's new version which was promoted by NPP congressman Thomas Rivera.

The new law allowed that hundreds of thousands of people who do not live on the island or had moved permanently out of the territory could exercise an absentee vote on election day.

Legal experts indicated that the new electoral changes were approved without consensus at a time when there was a plurality of new parties and movements.

"The power and control of the CEE's institutions remain in the hands of a single party, taking away some of the weight or strength they may have in administrative decisions from the rest of the movements or parties," Bar Association's Civil Law Commission director Jose Lamas said.

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