Puerto Rico’s Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez says she does not want to assume the role of governor following the recent resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló. In fact, she has reportedly asked Rosselló to appoint someone else to replace him.
By law, the island’s secretary of state would succeed Rosselló, but according to NBC News, no one has been confirmed for that position since Secretary of State Luis G. Rivera Marín submitted his resignation on July 13. Marin was involved in the same scandal that caused Rosselló to step down.
Vázquez tweeted, “I reiterate, I have no interest in occupying the position of Governor. 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.”
Vázquez is seen as an unfavorable replacement amongst island natives because she is seen as loyal to Rosselló. The hashtag #WandaRenuncia (“Wanda, resign”) began trending on #Twitter immediately after Rosselló’s resignation announcement.
Puerto Ricans took to the streets in protest, demanding Rosselló step down, following the leaking of 900 pages of private chats between the governor and several island officials exchanging profanity-filled, misogynistic and homophobic comments in addition to inappropriate jokes about deaths following Hurricane María in 2017 and other island topics.
According to NBC Miami, if the island’s House and Senate do not approve Rosselló’s choice for secretary of state, Puerto Rico’s law dictates the treasury secretary would be next in line if the justice secretary doesn’t become governor.
However, the current Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés is too young at 31 years old, as the constitution dictates the person must be at least 35 years old. That would leave interim Education Secretary Eligio Hernández next in line to be governor of Puerto Rico.