Puerto Rico Swears In Its Third Governor Within A Week
Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez was sworn in as governor after supposedly being replaced.
August 08, 2019 at 9:01 pm
Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez has been sworn in as the next governor of Puerto Rico, ending the turmoil that has had the island in the international spotlight for weeks due to protests against their former governor Ricardo Rosselló. This new changes makes Vázquez the third person to hold the role in the past week.
Last week, Pedro Pierluisi was named Secretary of State and would have been the next in line to take over as governor, but his swearing-in ceremony was thrown out by the Supreme Court, as Pierluisi's new role was not confirmed by both chambers of the legislature.
Vázquez, who was declared the successor when Governor Ricardo Roselló originally announced his resignation July 24, was slotted back into the role and was officially sworn in Thursday.
Following the announcement of Rosselló's replacement, protests continued to rage in the streets of the island, as many accused Vazquez of dragging her feet to uncover what happened to missing hurricane relief money, according to USA Today.
"In light of the decision by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, I must step aside and support the Secretary of Justice of Puerto Rico," Pierluisi said in a statement, according to CNN. "This is a time when we must all unite for Puerto Rico, leaving behind any partisan, ideological or personal agendas. In other words, this is a time for unity of purpose for the benefit of Puerto Rico, until our people have the opportunity to choose their future leaders in next year's elections."
The challenge was brought to the court by Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz, who CNN reported has his eyes set on the governorship for himself.
"To those who lent themselves, for their personal interest, to this embarrassing attempt to install an illegitimate government, that is how you will go down in the history of Puerto Rico," Rivera Schatz said in a statement.
Protests in Puerto Rico originally 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 the arrests of government officials.
Watch Vázquez's swearing-in below: