Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Puerto Rico's disgraced Gov. Ricardo Rossello swears in successor, resigns

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Patty Aguilar | 06 August, 2019, 04:08

With hundreds of people in the streets ahead of Rossello's exit, the House of Representatives confirmed Pedro Pierluisi as secretary of state, making him the USA territory's interim leader.

The appointment was approved after a heated battle by Puerto Rico's House of Representatives, which is controlled by Pierluisi's New Progressive Party.

This comes after outgoing Governor Ricardo Rossello appointed Pierluisi as his secretary of state designate, which put him in line to become the next governor.

The governor's office said lawyer Pedro Pierluisi had been sworn in as governor despite the controversy surrounding the appointment.

"If the Senate ratifies me, I will be governor until 2020", Pierluisi told El Nuevo Dia.

The House voted 26-21, with one abstention, to confirm Rosselló's nominee and potential successor.

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His resignation came after people protested in Puerto Rico and in Tampa for weeks.

It's not the first time locals from Puerto Rico have rallied in support of their Island. The messages attacked women, political opponents and victims of the hurricanes.

Several legislators expressed concern over Pierluisi, alleging a conflict of interest because he worked for a law firm that represents a controversial federal control board overseeing the island's finances.

"I hope that this decision will serve as a call for citizen reconciliation that we need so much to move forward with the welfare of Puerto Rico as its north", Rossello said. "In fact, he mocked them using new accomplices", Schatz said in a tweet after Rosselló announced that Pierluisi would be sworn in. "The disrespect, the lying, the unethical and illegal behavior went viral".

Until an appointment was confirmed by both chambers, Schatz and other senators said the next in line for governor, under law, was Justice Secretary Wanda Vazquez.

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