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Gov. Rosselló Announces He Will Not Seek Re-election

June 2, 1999
Copyright © 1999 EFE NEWS SERVICE (U.S.) INC.;
Source: World Reporter (TM)

San Juan (EFE).- Puerto Rican Gov. Pedro Rossello said Tuesday that he will not run for re-election in the year 2000, leaving his ruling New Progressive Party (PNP) without a trump card for a third consecutive term in office.

Rossello's announcement over television and radio stations dispelled the climate of expectation reigning in the country since early Tuesday morning when the media reported the governor's intentions.

The governor explained his decision to step down after a second term saying, "I have fulfilled my promise to the people and now it's time to fulfill my promise to my family ... I remember I told my entire family over dinner that I would not run for more than two terms."

Rossello said he promised his family that he would not run for more than two terms, and that he also believes elected officials should not remain in office for more than eight years.

"This was is my word of honor," he stated. "Therefore, to be true to my word, on this opening day for announcing electoral candidacies, I want to formally announce and reiterate that I will not run for a third term as governor in the elections of the year 2000."

During his speech, Rossello listed his accomplishments as governor and said he hopes his "self-imposed term limitation" will serve as an example to other Puerto Rican politicians.

The governor's decision came as a surprise to the island's inhabitants, but especially to his own party members, who had sworn -up to the moment before the announcement - that Rossello was their "sole" candidate for the 2000 elections.

The governor's announcement came one day after San Juan's mayor, Sila M. Calderon, was sworn in as president of the opposition Democratic People's Party (PPD), becoming the official party candidate for the governorship for her party.

Data released from the most recent opinion polls shows Calderon leads Rossello in popularity by a wide margin, which seemingly would presage the end of office for a party favoring U.S.- statehood for Puerto Rico.

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