Puerto Rico governor will resign as pressure mounted for impeachment

World Today

Puerto Rico governor will resign as pressure mounted for impeachmentPeople wave Puerto Rican national flags as they march to celebrate the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rossello who announced overnight that he is resigning Aug. 2 after weeks of protests over leaked obscene, misogynistic online chats, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Thursday, July 25, 2019.(AP Photo/Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo)

Puerto Rico is in celebration mode.

Governor Ricardo Rossello announced his plans to resign ceding power after mounting pressure from protesters, his party and even his own supporters. Now, what’s next for the U.S. territory.

CGTN’s Nitza Soledad Perez has the story.

For twelve days, public demonstrations erupted all over the island. Protesters loudly demanded their governor leave his post. Late Wednesday night, the rumors of an imminent resignation became reality.

Ricardo Rossello became the first governor to step down since Puerto Rico elected its first one in 1948. The announcement came via Facebook.

“Despite having a mandate from the people who elected me democratically, today I feel that continuing in this position presents insurmountable difficulties. Having heard the complaints, spoken to my family, thought of my children and in prayers, I’ve taken the following decision: I announce to you today that I will be resigning as governor, effective Friday 2nd of August 2019 at 5  p.m.,” Ricardo Rossello the Governor of Puerto Rico said.

Corruption scandals and public funds mismanagement had dogged the governor. A leak of hundreds of pages of chat messages filled with obscenities and insults proved the final push to political upheaval.

With him gone, Puerto Rico celebrated. They danced the night away and kept going through the day.

The rebellion that succeeded without bloodshed, though, may not be entirely finished. According to law, the Secretary of State should replace Rossello. But that official has already quit over his own participation in the offensive chats, so the next in line is the Secretary of Justice, Wanda Vazquez.

She, too, has been accused of abuses of power and is seen as too close to Rossello. The outgoing governor left open the possibility of appointing a new Secretary of State before his departure, to avoid a Vazquez-led administration.