Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Justice, Wanda Vazquez, who is set to become the island’s next governor, announced Sunday that she has no “interest” in occupying the position.
Puerto Rico: Rossello Replacement Being Probed for Corruption
“It is a Constitutional mandate. I hope that Governor (Rossello) identifies and submits a candidate for the position of Secretary of State before Aug. 2, I have told him so before,” Vazquez tweeted. She is next in line to be governor as Ricardo Rossello announced his resignation effective Friday on July 24.
According to the island’s constitution, former Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marin would have been next in line as governor. However, Rivera is one of many officials who resigned in recent weeks due to Puerto Rico’s political turmoil.
With no Secretary of State, the Secretary of Justice is third in the line of succession to hold office. Although, Vazquez said she has already told Rossello about her wishes not to get the job, creating an uncertain scenario of what will elapse this week as the current governor is set to leave.
Furthermore, Puerto Ricans continue to protest as many say Vazquez is just “more of the same”, as she is already being investigated for corruption linked to Hurricane Maria aid provisions.
“It’s absurd to have Wanda Vazquez as governor. The Justice Department is not operating properly. Corruption is rampant and that’s because of its leader,” House representative Jose Enrique Melendez told NBC.
On Sunday, Puerto Rican Senator Rossana Lopez Leon from the Democratic Popular Party (PPD) said that both Vazquez and Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz must leave their respective positions, as they “lack moral capacity and leadership for such work.”
The on-going political crisis in Puerto Rico is the result of an 889-page document, released by the non-profit journalism group Center for Investigative Journalism which revealed that Rossello led a racist, misogynist smear campaign against his competitors and journalists. As well as allegations of corruption and mishandling of public funds in his administration.
After 12 days of consecutive protests, where thousands of Puerto Ricans took to the street, Rossello announced his resignation despite his hesitancy to do so a few days before.