Puerto Rico’s disgraced governor, Ricardo Rosselló, nominated his likely successor Wednesday—two days before his resignation takes effect. If he’s confirmed in a special legislative session today, Pedro Pierluisi will become Puerto Rico’s secretary of state and will serve out the remainder of Rosselló’s term as governor. Pierluisi previously served as Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner—or non-voting representative—in Congress from 2009 to 2017. Pierluisi was one of the key advocates behind the creation of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act—known as PROMESA—which created an unelected, federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run Puerto Rico’s economy. This is Puerto Rico Independence Party politician María de Lourdes Santiago.
María de Lourdes Santiago: “I think it’s a great display of sarcasm. A leading slogan right now, 'Ricky, resign! And take the junta with you!' And the outgoing governor has left us with the financial oversight board’s lawyer, under the totally false premise that it’s better to have a figure that is less offensive than other possible candidates before the public eye. But if anything is clear, it’s that the high leadership of the party that promotes stability in Puerto Rico is a criminal organization, in which there are only puppets and puppeteers.”
Governor Rosselló announced his resignation a week ago, as hundreds of thousands of protesters flooded the streets to demand he step down. That followed the publication of hundreds of pages of text messages showing Rosselló and his staffers mocking Hurricane Maria survivors and using violent, homophobic and misogynistic language.