This comes as the island’s legislature began its own process to impeach Rossello and at the same, it marks a triumph for thousands of Puerto Ricans who have taken to the streets for 12 consecutive days.
Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rossello announced Wednesday at midnight his resignation effective Friday, August 2, 2019 at 5:00 pm local time, and will be replaced by the secretary of Justice, Wanda Vazquez.
Rossello's resignation is the triumph of thousands of Puerto Ricans who have taken to the streets for 12 consecutive days.
"I don't know if there is a simple way to convey what this means to Puerto Rico. A people historically subjected to all kinds of colonial imposition, this is the closest we have been to a revolutionary process in our recent history," teleSUR's correspondent, Luis de Jesus, said while reporting the joy felt by thousands who were encamped outside the governor's mansion.
BREAKING: It is official. @ricardorossello will resign effective August 2. Protesters light fireworks, erupt in euphoric cheer. Here is the moment they find out their cries, fraught as they are, have been heard. That Ricky has resigned. #rickyrenuncia #PuertoRico pic.twitter.com/y3FYBidOGa— Nick Brown (@NickPBrown) July 25, 2019
At the same time this comes as the island’s legislature began its own process to pressure Rossello. Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives Speaker, Carlos Mendez Nuñez, commissioned three attorneys to prepare a report on the legal feasibility of an impeachment process.
The politician told reporters that the only thing that would stop the process is if the governor resigns.
The legal experts unanimously determined there were five offenses that constitute grounds for impeachment. Attorneys found that Rossello committed four serious offenses and one misdemeanor, including illicitly using public resources and services for partisan purposes. He also allowed government officials and contractors to misuse public funds and time for non-government work.
All this started on July 13 as an 889-page document, released by the non-profit journalism group Center for Investigative Journalism revealed the official has led a racist, misogynist smear campaign against his competitors and journalists. Rossello also faced allegations of corruption and mishandling of public funds in his administration.