Puerto Rico Faces Succession Crisis as Disgraced Governor Resigns

HeadlineAug 02, 2019

Puerto Rican legislators have delayed a vote to confirm outgoing Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s possible successor. Rosselló, who has promised to step down today at 5 p.m., was forced to resign last week amid massive protests across Puerto Rico calling for his ouster. Rosselló has nominated attorney Pedro Pierluisi as secretary of state, which would make Pierluisi next in line to replace Rosselló. But during a special session Thursday, Puerto Rican legislators decided to postpone debate on Pierluisi’s confirmation until next week. Pierluisi’s law firm represents the unelected, federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run Puerto Rico’s economy. Many lawmakers oppose his nomination, citing a conflict of interest. If a new secretary of state is not confirmed before Rosselló leaves office, the next in line, Puerto Rico’s Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez — who was appointed by Rosselló — would likely take office. In recent days, there have been protests demanding Vázquez’s resignation. She announced via Twitter that she would not step down and would assume the “responsibility imposed by the Constitution and the law” to replace Rosselló.

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