The first message from Governor Pedro Pierluisi was received by different figures of the ruling party and the opposition with optimism or, at least, with the benefit of the doubt.
From the stage where the activity took place in front of the Capitol, two guests who were very attentive were José Luis Dalmau, who aspires to become president of the Senate, and Rafael “Tatito” Hernández, who is projected as the majority leader. in the House of Representatives.
“Except on the issue of status, the message of openness to bring together all sectors as a shared government, which the governor accepted, is an openness to communication,” said Dalmau. “The common enemies are COVID-19 and unemployment.”
“Probably there is not 100% consensus and where there is not, there will be auditing. That balance has to exist for there to be a government. There will be respect for the other branches. We demand respect for ours, “he added.
For his part, Hernández described the message as “positive”, “hopeful” and “conciliatory” due to the “fact that he recognizes that he has to seek meeting points, that he has a shared government.”
“He recognizes that he won with only a third of the votes, so he has to find a way to avoid major controversy,” added the representative, who hopes to begin talks with Pierluisi from this month with a view to approving a budget for the “realistic” government that prioritizes the needs of citizens, although it clashes with the visions of the Fiscal Oversight Board.
“That is going to be your problem, to be able to show that you are truly on the side of the people and not on the side of the Board. At least, what you have expressed, that is what you are going to do. We have to see if the action complies with what their expressions have been ”, he added.
Both were confident that they will achieve consensus with Pierluisi, as well as within the legislative bodies, which now include officials from more political parties.
Meanwhile, former Governor Luis Fortuño said that Pierluisi’s message “has given the right message. It is a diverse Puerto Rico, and it has recognized and respected the diversity that characterizes us with the challenges we are facing ”.
For her part, the resident commissioner in Washington, Jenniffer González, highlighted that Pierluisi’s message emphasized “uniting wills and respect.”
Also, González hopes that the new governor will be able to harmonize the diversity of positions in the political sphere with enforcing the result of the status consultation, in which the majority of the votes favored statehood.
He also pointed out that he endorsed Pierluisi for giving priority to “running” federal funds not yet disbursed after Hurricane Maria “for permanent works and economic development for Puerto Rico.”
In the case of independent senator José Vargas Vidot, he did not stay to listen to Pierluisi’s message because he did not agree with holding the event with 400 guests when there are still restrictions due to COVID-19.
After swearing in to a new term in the Senate, Vargas Vidot left, but earlier he said that Pierluisi comes to the governorship at a time of “political redemption”, when the priority is economic issues “that have the people in distress”, the “Public safety problem” and the need to increase access to more health services.
“I think the governor has a bigger package of challenges and challenges than congratulations and joys,” he said.
For former governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, it is a good sign that among those present at the swearing-in ceremony there were figures from different parties when they headed for an executive government of a party with majorities from other communities in the legislature.
“At least, it gives me hope that there is not the obstruction that there was when it was my turn (in the four-year period from 2004 to 2008), that I wanted it to be a shared government and sadly it was only a divided government,” he said. Acevedo Vilá.
On the other hand, the elected mayor of San Juan, Miguel Romero, pointed out that in his message, Pierluisi did not project expectations that cannot be met, acknowledging that he will be judged by the results he achieves.
“It is a message that is at the height of the challenges that Puerto Rico is experiencing was realistic, recognizing the results of elections, which are the results of a democratic will and which are different, where political and social diversity is not only framed in the Legislature, but throughout the government, including the municipalities, “he said.