Thursday, January 06, 2005

Unconstitutional for Rossello to be Senator

Section 8. The term of office of Senators and Representatives shall begin on the second day of January immediately following the date of the general election in which they shall have been elected. If, prior to the fifteen months immediately preceding the date of the next general election, a vacancy occurs in the office of Senator or Representative for a district, the Governor shall call a special election in said district within thirty days following the date on which the vacancy occurs. This election shall be held not later than ninety days after the call, and the person elected shall hold office for the rest of the unexpired term of his predecessor. When said vacancy occurs during a legislative session, or when the Legislative Assembly or the Senate has been called for a date prior to the certification of the results of the special election, the presiding officer of the appropriate house shall fill said vacancy by appointing the person recommended by the central committee of the political party of which his predecessor in office was a member. Such person shall hold the office until certification of the election of the candidate who was elected. When the vacancy occurs within fifteen months prior to a general election, or when it occurs in the office of a Senator at Large or a Representative at Large, the presiding officer of the appropriate house shall fill it, upon the recommendation of the political party of which the previous holder of the office was a member, by appointing a person selected in the same manner as that in which his predecessor was selected. A vacancy in the office of a Senator at Large or a Representative at Large elected as an independent candidate shall be filled by an election in all districts.

Puerto Rican Constitution, Article III, Section 8

What's the big fuss about Rossello being senator. He can't. If it were a senator at large that had resigned then the Senate leader can appoint a replacement. But, since the senator that resigned is from a district in Arecibo, a district in which Rossello doesn't live, then the Governor has to hold a special election. Rossello could get appointed now, but his appointment will only last until the new senator from the district is elected and certified. In this special election, Rossello can't run either because of Section 6 of the Constitution, which reads
Section 6. No person shall be eligible to election or appointment as Senator or Representative for a district unless he has resided therein at least one year immediately prior to his election or appointment.

Rossello is trying his hardest to get a job. But the reality is that he can't, unless the Constitution is violated, and the PNP have a history of doing that.


Tony McGrit said...

The constitution has already been violated by Rossello. (Remember? Only people residing in PR for 5 years can run for governor.)

And what if he's the only candidate in the election? I'm aware that the constitution calls for an election, but what if the party eliminates challangers within party ranks so that he's the only candidate? (Which they've done dozens of times to skip costly elections.)

But yes. You do have a case.

Get your law degree and get over to PR, poon man.

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