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Puerto Rico Governor Says He Will Not Seek Re-election

Image: Puerto Rico Governor Says He Will Not Seek Re-election

Monday, 14 Dec 2015 05:04 PM

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla on Monday said he would not seek a second four-year term in next November's election, adding a new layer of uncertainty as the island struggles to resolve a $72 billion debt crisis.

Garcia Padilla's administration is facing a federal corruption probe, and the governor's approval ratings have been dismal, making him a long-shot for reelection. His former secretary of state, David Bernier, as well as Puerto Rico Senate President Eduardo Bhatia, are leading potential alternative candidates from Garcia Padilla's Popular Democratic Party (PPD).

"Big causes require big sacrifices," Garcia Padilla said in Spanish, in a taped address televised and livestreamed on Monday afternoon. "This year will demand politically unpleasant decisions."

The governor said he cannot run a political campaign while working to turn around Puerto Rico's economy, thus paving the way for a new PPD candidate whose platform and popularity remain unknown.

It is unclear how Bernier or Bhatia would match up against the rival New Progressive Party (PNP), which has been more creditor-friendly than Garcia Padilla.

Polls suggested Garcia Padilla would have been an underdog in a general election against the PNP.

"It's not as though a new PPD governor would be able to come in and dramatically expand payrolls or change the course of government" given Puerto Rico's financial constraints, Height Securities analyst Daniel Hanson, who has been closely following Puerto Rico, told Reuters in November.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla on Monday said he would not seek a second four-year term in next November's election, adding a new layer of uncertainty as the island struggles to resolve a $72 billion debt crisis. Garcia Padilla's administration is facing a...
puerto, rico, governor, re-election
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2015-04-14
Monday, 14 Dec 2015 05:04 PM
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