“With detachment I announce that I will be resigning from the governor’s post, which will be effective on Friday, August 2, 2019,” the governor said in a video message.
Cornered by a wave of protests after leaking a chat in which he makes homophobic and misogynist comments, Rosselló said that the secretary of Justice, Wanda Vázquez Garced, will take over the government on an interim basis.
According to the Constitution, it is the secretary of state who is the first in line to replace the governor but, given that he had also resigned, the position corresponds to Vázquez Garced.
In an official statement, quoted in the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día, the secretary of Justice declared that “when his resignation becomes effective, if necessary, I will assume the historic task imposed by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the applicable laws”.
He added: “We will be working together to carry out an orderly and transparent transition process.”
Rosselló thus becomes the first governor of Puerto Rico to resign in the middle of his term.
The thousands of protesters who were concentrated on the outskirts of the Fortress, the official residence, erupted in jubilation when the governor confirmed his departure to the shout of “Ricky we threw you out.”
And Rosselló resigns after more than eleven days of intense protests in which tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans joined under the motto “Ricky, resign.”
The marches were led by some of the most prominent artists on the island, such as Residente or Ricky Martin.
The crisis broke out after the public dissemination of a long chain of private messages exchanged on the Telegram platform, in which Rosselló and his intimate circle of collaborators made misogynist, homophobic or insulting comments about political opponents, singers or journalists.
They also included at least one teasing comment about the victims of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico in 2017 and left more than 4,000 victims, according to a study by Harvard University.
With information from bbc.com.