The former candidate for mayor of San Juan for the Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana (MVC), Manuel Natal, asked the Court of First Instance to declare that the first municipal executive Miguel Romero failed to comply with the term established to respond to the challenge of the election in the capital city, which would mean that it accepts the allegations as true.
Natal, in a press conference yesterday, stated that Romero’s lawyers presented five different briefs on procedural proposals on the reason why the legal appeal should be dismissed and not in relation to the merits of the lawsuit, in which it is alleged that there were irregularities during the electoral event, specifically in the awarding of absentee and early voting ballots in Unit 77 in San Juan.
Natal indicated that he submitted the legal appeal on January 14 and that Romero was notified of it on January 17.
For his part, the mayor responded that he has appeared in court requesting the dismissal of the lawsuit and that he will continue working on the rehabilitation of San Juan.
“The case has been processing, the motions to request dismissal have been filed. He (Natal) makes some demonstrations whose sole purpose seems to me to be to attract attention, seek to extend the controversy and generate controversy in public opinion … the cases are litigated in the courts, ”said Romero.
Meanwhile, Natal observed that according to article 10.15 of the Electoral Code, the challenged candidate has a term of ten days to answer the challenge brief under oath and certify that he has notified and delivered a copy of his answer. In accordance with that article, if the candidate does not answer within the established term, it will be understood that he accepts the challenge as true.
“Not only was the appeal filed within the established term, but enough allegations were made in the appeal that could change the outcome of the election,” said Natal.
He requests that a special election be held in Unit 77 on or before March 2021.
“Miguel Romero has avoided answering about the serious irregularities that occurred in the San Juan election, particularly in early voting. It is a fact admitted by the State Elections Commission (CEE) that there are more ballots than voters in Unit 77 … Holding a new election in Unit 77 is the only possible remedy ”, he said.
He indicated that there are 6,550 illegal municipal ballots in the aforementioned unit, which means 43% of the votes reported.
“They are illegal votes on ballots in excess of the number of voters, ballots in briefcases that do not have the lists of voters, or minutes or any evidence that belongs to the number of voters,” said Natal.
To those expressions, Romero said that he is confident that he will prevail against Natal.
“In due course, the case will end in court and will have the process, as it had in the past when a challenge was also presented by him to the preliminary certification that had been issued by the EEC. The arguments are presented, a dismissal resolution was submitted that has not been resolved by the court and that is the first thing that has to happen, “he said.