Friday, May 24, 2024

Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez says she has no interest in becoming Puerto Rico’s governor

The woman who was next in line to become Puerto Rico’s governor after the current governor resigned amid massive protests said yesterday that she does not want the position.

Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez said she does not want to assume the role of governor and has asked departing Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to appoint someone else to replace him instead. “I reiterate, I have no interest in occupying the position of Governor,” Vázquez said in a tweet. “It is a Constitutional opinion; I hope that the Governor identifies and submits a candidate for the position of Secretary of State before August 2 and I have told him so.”

By law, the island’s secretary of state would succeed Rosselló, but no one has been confirmed for that position since Luis G. Rivera Marín — who was involved in the same scandal that brought down Rosselló — submitted his resignation July 13. Puerto Ricans generally see Vázquez as an unfavorable replacement because she is seen as loyal to Rosselló.

The hashtag #WandaRenuncia (or “Wanda, resign”) started trending on Twitter immediately after Rosselló’s announced that he would be resigning. The island protested for nearly two weeks after almost 900 pages of leaked private chats between the governor and several island officials set off a wave of scandal on the island.

Vázquez initially described the leaked chats as “incorrect,” but not illegal. She later announced that she would recuse herself from any investigation because she was mentioned in the chats.