A few months separate it from the forthcoming board election of the National Assembly, and the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) is in the midst of an internal struggle over who the party candidate will be.
PRD Assembly Member Pedro Miguel Gonzalez is convinced that most of the current representatives will be re-elected, including current Assembly President Ruben de Leon. “The Torrijista faction of the party will prevail: we are not only going to hold on to the presidency, but we will manage to consolidate our grip on the party.”
Secretary General of the PRD, Carlos Perez Herrera, begs to differ. “The candidate will be chosen via internal party elections: if the dissidents wish to participate in the scheduled internal elections by putting forward Ruben de Leon, they are entitled to do so; and if he carries the vote, we will act in ful respect of that result. We will not follow the example they set last July” he added, in reference to the flagrant disrespect of last year’s election results by the parliamentary party members. “If they betray the party, that would be for a second year running. The party will determine what necessary action to take, if we come to that. At this stage, I would simply urge them to follow the official party line and to refrain instead from acting as the unofficial spokespersons of President Juan Carlos Varela”
Mr. Perez Herrera went on to confirm that PRD Assembly Member and Party President, Benicio Robinson, aspires to be National Assembly president in the forthcoming legislature. “Mr. Robinson made it publicly known that he is interested in running at a party gathering, in which only one of the six dissident PRD members was present” he stated. Mr. Robinson will follow due course by seeking the election as party candidate in the internal party vote, first and foremost, Mr Perez Herrera clarified. “If he is successful at that, he will then seek the support of the legislators in his election as Assembly president”, he added.
For his part, former National Police director Rolando Mirones sees nothing strange in horse-trading among legislators as part of the process of selection of a new Assembly president. “This happens all over the world: legislators need to find common ground. What would not be acceptable is the direct interference of the Executive in this political process. The PRD was voted into opposition at the last general election, and that’s the role they should be playing”, he argued. Current National Assembly president Ruben de Leon is reportedly seeking re-election with the support of allies within President Varela’s government.