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Tuesday, August 18, 1998 Published at 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK

World: Americas

Puerto Rico Governor authorises referendum

The governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Rosello, has authorised a referendum on the island's relationship with the United States for December 13.

Mr Rosello said Puerto Ricans would be able to choose between statehood or indepedence or keep the current status.

Puerto Rico is currently a Commonwealth Territory estado libre asociadoof the United States with limited self-government.

Both the Puerto Rican House of Representatives and the Senate voted in favour of the referendum last week.

Any referendum is not binding on the United States.

The US House of Representatives has approved a bill authorising the Puerto Rican referendum but the US Senate has not yet voted on it.

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