Just 17 days after he was attending the Women’s World Cup final in France, Ricardo Rosselló told the people of Puerto Rico and the rest of the world late Wednesday night that he is resigning as governor of the U.S. island-colony, effective August 2 at 5 p.m.
The message was transmitted via La Fortaleza’s Facebook page. The announcement was a recorded message and confirmed Tuesday reports by local Puerto Rican media that he would step down from office. Rosselló was expected to resign earlier on Wednesday, but it wasn’t until Wednesday night that the message was officially shared.
“Today I am announcing that I will be resigning as governor, effective Friday, August 2, at five o’clock,” the embattled pro-statehood former governor said near the end of his video, which he began by listing all the accomplishments of his administration and his work during Hurricane María.
As for transition, Rosselló noted that Secretary of Justice Wanda Vázquez will be named governor, based on the current plan of succession. It is unclear if Vázquez will remain as governor at this time.
Vázquez provided a statement after Rosselló’s decision, noting that she will assume the governorship, “if necessary,” once the resignation is a done deal on August 2.
Secretary of Justice Wanda Vázquez released a statement saying “We will be working together to have a responsible and transparent transition process.
Once the resignation is official, if necessary, I will assume the historic mandate that the Constitution of Puerto Rico commends”.
— Frances Robles (@FrancesRobles) July 25, 2019
Rosselló’s announcement comes after two weeks of scandals and protests demanding his resignation rocked the U.S. territory and headlines all over the world. On Monday, a massive national march increased the pressure for Rosselló to step down from office. Hours before his recorded message was made public, Rosselló was facing the possibility of impeachment for his involvement in the #TelegramGate scandal.
Latino Rebels will be providing updates and reactions to this story here as it develops on Thursday.