Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico
Those who follow the PNP ideology are called penepés or estadistas (statehooders in English). Individuals from the PNP have alliances with either the national Republican Party and Democratic Party, unlike the PPD, which has strong identification with the US Democratic party. However, most of the leadership over the years has identified with the Republican Party.
The party traces its beginnings to a 1967 reunion in a sports complex in Carolina. On January 5, 1968, the party was certified as an official political group by the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico . The party had roots in a prior pro-statehood party led by Manuel Garcia Mendez. Part of the impetus congealed after the unsuccesful campaign in the Puerto Rico status referendum of 1967.
Under Luis A. Ferré as leader, the PNP came to power in November 1968 by defeating the two other major parties of Puerto Rico, the PPD and the PIP. The governing party was saddled by the break-away candidacy of then governor, Roberto Sanchez Vilella, who had feuded with the PPD leader, Luis Munoz Marin.
Four years later, in 1972, Ferré lost to the reunified PPD's candidate Rafael Hernández Colón, but in 1976, under the leadership of Carlos Romero Barcelo, the PNP returned to power. Romero Barcelo would face Hernandez Colon two times for the seat of Puerto Rican governor.
Romero Barcelo won in 1980 by only 3,000 votes —the closest margin in Puerto Rican election history— but lost in 1984. His period as governor was filled with controversy when 3 PIP followers were shot to death in the late 1970s (see: Alejandro González Malave). A television trial followed (the first trial to be televised in Puerto Rican TV history) and much of the public linked Romero Barcelo to the killings of the three young men. This, combined with the fact that the then mayor of San Juan, Hernán Padilla, left the party to form his own party, PRP , meant most of the electors voted for Hernández Colón.
In 1988,Baltazar Corrada del Río ran for governor, but he lost to Hernández Colón.
In 2000, Carlos I. Pesquera ran for governor. He and Sila María Calderón seemed to be neck-to-neck (based on newspaper polls) until the final weeks, but the turning point of the race came when a Calderón maid from the Dominican Republic went to San Juan newspapers and accused Calderón of being an abusive boss. This helped Calderón, ironically, because later it was discovered that the maid had been paid off by PNP spokesman Edwin Mundo , who resigned shortly thereafter.
Rossello won the primaries for Governor nomination against Carlos Pesquera. The race for governor was one of the most controversial ones in Puerto Rican history. On the PNP side, Rosello was accused time and time about the corruption charges in his administration while Anibal Acevedo Vila (PPD) was plagued with a weak image. In the televised debates, Anibal surprised everyone with his way of speaking and started to gain more momentum. The polls put Rosello up by double digits but when it came to election night, Rosello lost by some 3,000 votes (12,000 votes went as write-in for Carlos Pesquera). After a lenghty court battle that was decided in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (located in Boston, Massachusetts), Anibal was certified as governor. Rosello then became the senator for Arecibo when the elected senator for such said district "gave up" his seat for the ex-governor.
Rosello tried to become the president of the senate but so far he has been unsuccesful.
The party is called the blue party in Puerto Rico because its logo consists of a blue oval with a white palm tree inside it, and the words "estadidad, seguridad, progreso" ("statehood, security, progress" in English) surrounding the oval and written in blue.
Important party leaders
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