Puerto Rico delays its primary a second time

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Puerto Rico delayed its Democratic primary election for the second time in as many months, leaving the new date undetermined as the coronavirus pandemic develops.

The Caribbean territory had originally scheduled its Democratic primary for March 29, but postponed it a first time until April 26, before delaying indefinitely Thursday.

Puerto Rico Democratic Party Chairman Charles Rodríguez said the first postponement, decreed by legislation, enabled party leadership to extend the delay if the crisis maintained.

“The most important thing right now is to save lives and contain the spread of COVID-19. But we will take all necessary actions to guarantee the right to vote in an event of great importance for the Nation and Puerto Rico,” said Rodríguez in a statement.

The national Democratic Party announced Thursday it would delay its convention, originally scheduled for July, until Aug. 17, days before the scheduled GOP convention.

The statement from the Puerto Rico Democratic Party said the new convention date will provide “more flexibility to determine the feasibility of a date for the local presidential primary in compliance with all the required processes in law and regulation.”

Puerto Rico will hold four separate primary elections before November’s general election.

The island’s Democratic presidential primary date is now in flux, but the island’s Republican presidential primary, as well as the two major local party primaries — the pro-statehood New Progressive Party (PNP) and the left-leaning Popular Democratic Party (PPD) — are scheduled for June 7.

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