Published November 21, 2012
Outgoing Puerto Rican Gov. Luis Fortuño is not going down without a fight.
The Republican leader of the U.S. territory is demanding a recount to the results from this month’s elections that saw him lose his gubernatorial post to Alejandro García Padilla, the Popular Democratic Pary candidate who pulled in 47.78 percent of the vote, compared with Fortuño's 47.09 percent.
"I was informed by our electoral commissioner that, with a number of write-in votes still remaining and estimated at 20,000, which are yet to be verified, counted and included, whatever the case is, the trend observed so far in the candidacy for governor indicates that, provided it continues, the point-five percent (0.5%) difference referred to in Article 10.010, quoted, will probably be reached," Fortuño wrote in a letter to Puerto Rico’s president of the State Elections Commission, Hector Conty, according to the newspaper El Nuevo Dia.
García’s Padilla’s party insisted that recount should take place and the governor-elect has already begun implanting some of his campaign promises. The governor-elect also has close ties to the Obama administration in Washington, as the U.S. president invited Garcia Padilla out to an impromptu lunch at a San Juan bakery during his trip to Puerto Rico in 2011.
The chances of a recount seem slim as Puerto Rico’s electoral code states that a recount will take place if there is a 0.5 percent margin between the candidates once the petition is filed, but the margin between García Padilla and Fortuño is 0.69 percent.
Fortuño’s contestation of the election results has drawn criticism of some Puerto Ricans who see García Padilla as the clear-cut winner and want to move onto the next phase of politics on the island.
"Mr. Edwin Mundo [electoral commissioner for Fortuño's New Progressive Party] has to accept, once and for all, that in January there will be a change in government, and he should not continue to alarm and trying to create confusion,” Eder Ortiz, electoral commissioner for the PPD, told CyberNews.