Puerto Rico ousts Governor, backs US statehood
San Juan: Puerto Ricans have endorsed US statehood for the Caribbean island but also ousted the pro-statehood Governor in a close election.
Governor Luis Fortuno conceded defeat on Wednesday to his main challenger after concluding there were not enough outstanding ballots to close the gap with his main challenger, Alejandro Garcia Padilla. The margin in Tuesday`s vote was less than one percent.
"Now it`s time for us to come together as one people. The campaign is over," Fortuno said in a news conference.
Fortuno, as a member of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, said he was pleased that 61 percent of voters endorsed becoming a US state, though critics said the two-part ballot was confusing to many and would not be enough to persuade the Congress to accept Puerto Rico into the union.
Fortuno, who is also a Republican, was a supporter of US presidential candidate Mitt Romney and campaigned for him in Florida.
Garcia is part of the Popular Democratic Party, which wants Puerto Rico to remain semi-autonomous US commonwealth.
The two-part referendum asked whether the island wanted to change its 114-year relationship with the United States. Nearly 54 percent, or 922,374 people, sought to change it, while 46 percent, or 786,749 people, favoured the status quo. Ninety-six percent of 1,643 precincts were reporting as of early Wednesday.
The second question asked voters to choose from three options, with statehood by far the favourite, garnering 61 percent. Sovereign free association, which would have allowed for more autonomy, received 33 percent, while independence got 5 percent.
US President Barack Obama earlier expressed support for the referendum and pledged to respect the will of the people in the event of a clear majority.
Fortuno and Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, the island`s representative in Congress, said the results of the referendum will be delivered to the Obama administration and the leadership in Congress with the hope that they will back the bid for statehood.
"The ball is now in Congress` court and Congress will have to react to this result," Pierluisi, a member of the pro-statehood party who was re-elected on Tuesday. "This is a clear result that says `no` to the current status."
The island is currently a US territory whose inhabitants are US citizens but are prohibited from voting in Presidential Elections. Its resident commissioner in the US House also has limited voting powers.
Garcia celebrated his victory with supporters at party headquarters.
"I can assure you we have rescued Puerto Rico," Garcia said. "This is a lesson to those who think that the well-being of Puerto Ricans should be subjected to ideologies."
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Five unmanned parachute-like objects spotted over Mumbai airport
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- No respite from heat for next three days: IMD
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- Police registers case after parachute-like objects were spotted over Mumbai airport
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- DNA: AIIMS doctor removes both kidneys of minor, claims she had only one
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 declared
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results to be declared today at 4 PM
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- Unidentified flying objects spotted over Mumbai airport not motorised: Home Department
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Militants kill five, target telecoms in Kashmir attacks
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- China doesn't recognise 'illegal' McMahon Line: Beijing responds to NSA Ajit Doval
- CBSE 10th Results 2015 to be declared on May 27
- CBSE Class 12th Board Exam Results 2015: cbseresults.nic.in crashes