As long as anyone can remember, Puerto Rico’s political parties have been based on the territory’s status options:
- The PNP favors statehood.
- The Independence Party favors independence.
- The PDP favors “commonwealth,” a mythical status which they want to see evolve out of the current territorial status.
Now there’s a new political party in Puerto Rico. The “Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana” or MVC, or Citizens Victory Movement, has filed the paperwork to become an official political party. They have to get 47,405 signatures and be certified by the Puerto Rico State Elections Commission (CEE) in order to be able to field candidates in the 2020 genereal elections.
What does the MVC stand for?
The MVC welcomes people from any of the Island’s political parties, and calls for a Constitutional Assembly on Status to choose among independence, statehood and free association. Free Association is a relationship between two sovereign states and can therefore only happen as part of a choice for independence. The MVC could therefore be a coalition between supporters of independence and the sovereigntist branch of the PNP.
Rather than focusing on the status question, however, the MVC lists its primary positions as support of equality, zero tolerance for corruption, and education and labor reforms.
Former independent candidate for governor Alexandra Lugaro is one of the founders of the new party. While the new party is being described as an offshoot of the PDP, its supporters have not taken a position on status. However, some have criticized the MVC’s choice of a logo similar to that of Venezuela’s Socialist party.
Other new parties
Political parties in Puerto Rico are not the same as the national U.S. political parties. They are not aligned with the Republican or Democratic parties. For example, Republican Jenniffer Gonzalez and Democrat Ricardo Rossello are both members of the PNP.
There are more political parties in Puerto Rico than the three major parties listed above, just as the states have the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and so on. There are in fact four more new parties currently trying to gain certification: the Free Association Association, the Civil Action Party, and Citizens United for San Juan.
The PDP or “commonwealth” party has not been able to agree on a definition of “commonwealth” within this century and the federal government has stated repeatedly that 20th century definitions of “commonwealth” are unconstitutional. Asked what the MVC has that the PDP does not, one founder said, “A future.”