Puerto Rico Governor Pledges Plebiscite on Status

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Puerto Rico's governor says he will hold a new plebiscite by 2016 to decide the future of the island's political status.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Wednesday that his Popular Democratic Party is working on a definition for the enhanced commonwealth status it supports. He has previously said he would support a constitutional assembly to decide the U.S. territory's status.

The U.S. Congress would have to approve any change.

President Barack Obama's administration has pledged $2.5 million to finance a plebiscite. The ballot would have to be approved by the U.S. attorney general before going to voters.

Puerto Rico held a nonbinding, two-part referendum in November 2012 whose results have been disputed.

Nonbinding referendums also were held in 1967, 1993 and 1998. Seeking statehood has never garnered a clear majority.

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