Puerto Rico votes overwhelmingly for US statehood

Puerto Ricans in favor of Statehood celebrate the outcome of the polls PHOTO COURTESY

Puerto Ricans on Sunday voted overwhelmingly in favor of US statehood in a referendum marked by low voter turnout.

The Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rosello told supporters after the results were announced that Puerto Rico was going to become the 51st state of the United states arguing that it was pointless for the United states to demand democracy in other parts of the world while ignoring Puerto Rico’s call for democracy.

Currently Puerto Rico is an incorporated territory of the United states  which according to the law in the United States  translates that it belongs to the United states but not part of the United states.

In Sunday’s referendum voters were being asked  to choose between three choices which were Statehood,Free association/Independence and the current status.

More than 500,000 voters voted in favour of statehood while less that 20,000 voted for free association/Independence/Current status.However the voter turnout in Sunday’s referendum was at 23% with the opposition arguing that the low voter turnout was a sign of rejection of statehood.

Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United states since 1907  although they are not allowed to vote in presidential elections in the US.

Governor Risallo told supporters on Sunday that he would create a commission to appoint two senators and five representatives to demand for US statehood.

However political analysts both in the Island and the US have argued that a congress with a republican majority  in the US would never recognize the referendum results as Puerto Rico tends to lean on the democratic side.