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Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico

The Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico -- or Partido Popular Democrático de Puerto Rico (PPD for its abbreviation in Spanish) -- is a Puerto Rican political party that stands for Puerto Rico to be a free associated state of the United States, which is also known as a commonwealth status. The PPD is currently the party in power in Puerto Rico, with Sila María Calderón as governor (the first woman to be Puerto Rican governor in history), having won the 2000 elections.

Those who follow the PPD ideology are called populares (populars in English).

Table of contents
1 Political ideals
2 History
3 Party Logo
4 Important party leaders
5 See also

Political ideals

The PPD's political ideals call for a Puerto Rico that is self-dependent in some areas and dependent from the United States in others, basically because of this, Puerto Rico is generally considered to be a country and not a state of the American union. For example, Puerto Rico has its own Olympic Games representation.



The PPD was founded in 1938 by Luis Muñoz Marin.


In 1949, under the leadership of Luis Muñoz Marin, the PPD won the first democratically organized elections in Puerto Rico.


During the 1950s, Luis Muñoz Marin remained as Puerto Rican governor.


1964, PPD candidate Roberto Sanchez Vilella had become the second governor to be democratically elected in Puerto Rico. The party remained in power until 1968, when Luis A. Ferre, of the then newly found New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (PNP), won the elections.


1972, with Rafael Hernandez Colon as their new leader, the PPD returned to power. However, this was a briefly lived victory for the party, because in 1976, PNP candidate Carlos Romero Barcelo defeated Colon.


In 1980, the PPD threatened once again, with Colon as candidate, to come back to power, losing by only 3,000 votes in the elections that year. That has been the closest election for Puerto Rican governor in history to date.

In 1984, Colon once again became governor. His second term was marked by his fight to keep the Law 936 running. The PPD helped establishing the law, which dictates that American companies can be allowed to operate in Puerto Rico with tax cuts.

In 1988, Colon was re-elected. That same year Hector Luis Acevedo, the PPD's candidate for mayor in San Juan, won the election for that position by only seven votes. It was also the year that Santitos Negron, mayor of Cabo Rojo, left the party to become the first man not affiliated with any of the three major parties in Puerto Rico to win an electoral position in the country when he retained his seat as mayor as an independent candidate.


In 1992, after Colon decided not to run for governor again, the PPD elected Victoria Melo Munoz, daughter of Luis Muñoz Marin, to run for governor. She became the first woman in Puerto Rican history to run for governor, but she lost the election to Pedro Rosello. In 1996, Acevedo ran for governor, but once again, the PPD candidate lost to Roselló.


In 2000,
Sila Maria Calderon regained the governor's seat for the PPD, beating PNP candidate Carlos Ignacio Pesquera, and Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) candidate Ruben Berrios.

Calderon has announced that she will not be running for governor in 2004. Her proposed heir as PPD leader was Jose Alfredo Hernandez Mayoral, son of Rafael Hernandez Colon, but he retired from the political life, at least for the time being, because of his son's health problems. As of this moment, Anibal Acevedo Vila is the substitute for Calderon as party leader and PPD governor candidate for the 2004 elections but according to Puerto Rican laws, a new candidate can emerge 3 months before the Puerto Rican election day, leaving August 2004 as the crucial month for any new aspirants to run for governor.

Party Logo

The PPD's logo is that of a man wearing a straw hat, with the words "pan, tierra, libertad" (bread, land, freedom in English) circling the man. Because the PPD's logo is red, the party is also known as the red party in Puerto Rico. It should be clarified that Puerto Ricans do NOT mean to identify it with communism by calling the party with that name.

Important party leaders

See also