Puerto Rico governor will not seek reelection amid texting scandal

22 Juillet, 2019, 16:56 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Ricardo Rossello the Governor of Puerto Rico near a police barricade set up along a street leading to the governors mansion in Old San Juan Puerto Rico

The upheaval prompted at least four cruise ships to cancel visits to Puerto Rico, and many officials worry about the impact his resignation could have on the already fragile economy on the island, home to 3 million United States citizens who have no vote in Congress or presidential elections. "In this case, I announce that I will not seek re-election as governor next year", he said, adding that he's resigning from his position as president of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party.

Current and former members of the New Progressive Party earlier called on Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello to step down and avoid getting impeached over a chat message scandal that sparked protests across the United States island territory. He had already announced his intention to seek a second term.

The leaked messages between Rosselló and some officials in his administration mentioned manipulation of public opinion polls, inappropriate comments about political rivals, and jokes about the death toll that resulted from Hurricane Maria.

"I have listened, and I am listening to you today", Rossello said in a video posted on Facebook. "Whoever wasn't sure about going to the march tomorrow has now made up their mind to go".

"Apologizing is not enough", Rossello said in a statement on Facebook.

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Puerto Rico's nonvoting representative to the U.S. Congress, as well as Democratic presidential candidates and some Republican lawmakers, have demanded he step down over the leaked messages.

Puerto Rico House Speaker Carlos Mendez, also of the PNP, appointed an independent panel on Friday to investigate whether the chats warranted impeachment. Rossello's term is scheduled to end in January 2021.

Ricky Martin and Lin-Manuel Miranda have joined the cause as tens of thousands are expected to take the streets on Monday.

Martin, a target of the governor's chats, said he would march with protestors on Monday.

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