Thursday, November 8, 2012
Puerto Rica Wants To Join USA As 51st State
A slim majority of Puerto Ricans sought to change their ties with the US and become the 51st US state in a non-binding refrendum that would require final approval from congress. The two-part refrendum asked whether the island wanted to change its 114-year relationship with the US. Nearly 54 percent, or 922,374 people sought to change it while 46 %, or 786,749 people opt for status quo. The second question was asked voters to choose from three options, with statehood by far the favorite, garnering 61 percent. Sovereign free association which would have allowed more autonomy received 33 percent, while independance got 5 percent. President Obama earlier expressed support for the refrendun and pledged for respect the will of the people in event of majority. It is unclear whether congress will debate the results of the refrendum or if Obama will consider the results to be clear enough majority. Puerto Rico resident commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, who has championed statehood received 48 percent votes while, his opponent, Rafael Cox receive 47 percent. The island is currently a US territory whose inhabitants are US citizens but they are prohibited from voting in presidential election. Its resident commisioner in the US House also has limited voting powers. The future of islan's political status, however, is also depended on who governs the island.