Puerto Rico Governor Resigns After Two Weeks Of Protest
Rossello resigns following weeks of protests.
July 25, 2019 at 7:05 pm
Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló announced his resignation late Wednesday night after protests broke out July 13 against the systematic problems on the island, as well as a scandal involving leaked private chats and a corruption investigation, which led to arrests of government officials.
His resignation, which was announced in a Facebook live video, will be effective Aug. 2, when he will be replaced by current Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez.
This was the moment thousands of protesters, standing in front of the governors mansion, tonight, heard the governor say he is resigning pic.twitter.com/PhmVDGpe4A— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) July 25, 2019
"My only priority has been the transformation of our island and the well-being of our people," Rosselló said in his video, according to CBS News. "The demands have been overwhelming, and I've received them with highest degree of humility."
With the resignation and next-in-command announced, Puerto Rico's non-voting delegate to Congress, U.S. Representative Jenniffer González, called for a return of tranquility to the island.
"I turn to all my fellow Puerto Ricans to ask them for peace and tranquility," González, a Republican and member of Rossello's party, said to Reuters. "The new governor, Wanda Vázquez, has all my support, experience and resources."
Despite the call for peace from those in power, many protestors are set to take action, demanding Vázquez to resign as well, with protests planned for Thursday.
As head of the Housing Department's women's rights office, Vázquez, who has close political ties to Rosselló, has clashed with many feminist leaders, which has led to the opposition of her appointment, as well.
According to USA Today, the strongest pushback against her is rooted in the recovery efforts for Hurricane Maria. Many do not know what happened to all of the relief money, with neighborhoods still not fully recovered. Some accuse Vázquez of dragging her feet to find out what happened to the relief money.
“I was here until about 2 a.m., and when they said through the megaphone that Wanda would be the one to take over, everybody started saying ‘No’ and immediately started yelling, ‘Wanda resign,'" Yomarili Rosa, a 28-year-old librarian protesting Wednesday, said to USA Today.
With outside pressure mounting, some are beginning to see Vázquez facing a similar fate as Rosselló and falling to the protests, as the hashtag #WandaRenuncia or "Wanda, resign" started trending on Twitter immediately after Rosselló's address ended.