clearn.png
Tuesday October 20th, 2020 4:36AM

Woman set to replace Puerto Rico's governor doesn't want job

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The woman who is supposed to replace Puerto Rico's embattled governor announced Sunday that she doesn't want the job as the U.S. territory reels from political crisis.

Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez said in a Twitter post that she hopes Gov. Ricardo Rosselló will appoint a secretary of state before resigning Aug. 2 as planned.

Former Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marín would have been next in line as governor, according to the U.S. territory's constitution. But he is one of more than a dozen officials who have resigned in recent weeks since someone leaked an obscenity-laced chat in which Rosselló and close advisers insulted people including women and victims of Hurricane Maria.

Rosselló on Wednesday announced that he would step down following nearly two weeks of massive protests amid anger over the chat, corruption charges against several former government officials and a 13-year recession. In the chat, the 40-year-old Democrat and son of a governor called a female politician a "whore," referred to another as a "daughter of a bitch," and made fun of an obese man with whom he posed in a photo.

Rosselló became the first governor to resign in the modern history of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory of 3.2 million American citizens. He is more than halfway through his four-year term.

Marín's resignation had left Vázquez as next in line to be governor. But she said she has already told Rosselló about her wishes not to get the job, creating a chaotic scenario about who will be Puerto Rico's next leader.

If Rosselló's choice for a secretary of state is not approved by the island's House and Senate, Puerto Rico's law dictates the treasury secretary would be next in line if the justice secretary doesn't become governor. But current Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés is too young at 31 years old. The constitution dictates the person would have to be at least 35, so that would leave interim Education Secretary Eligio Hernández next in line. He replaced former education secretary Julia Keleher, who resigned in April and was arrested July 10 on federal corruption charges. She has pleaded not guilty.

"This is crazy," political expert Mario Negrón Portillo said in a phone interview on Sunday. "We have no idea what's even going to happen tomorrow. Societies cannot live with this type of uncertainty."

Vázquez's comments came less than an hour after Public Affairs Secretary Anthony Maceira resigned.

"There were many challenges that we had to face together as Puerto Ricans, although sometimes we differed," he said. "The work of each one of us must continue with the welfare of our island and its people as its north."

The announcement comes a day before Puerto Ricans planned another march, this time against Vázquez, who is accused of not ordering an investigation into the alleged mismanagement of supplies for hurricane victims, among other things.

Vázquez said on Friday that there is a lot of misinformation but that she cannot speak publicly about certain cases.

"The vicious attacks on my personal and professional integrity continue," she said. "The desire and agenda of some to try to undermine my credibility at this moment of transcendental importance to Puerto Rico and to destabilize the governmental order is evident."

A spokeswoman for Vázquez did not immediately return a message for comment on Sunday.

Aimara Pérez, a 32-year-old drafter who participated in some of the most recent marches, said she did not want Vázquez as governor.

"We're going to keep protesting," she said. "It's not going to stop. If there is evidence of corruption, the people are going to push ahead without fear, and we're going to get rid of them all."

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Supreme Court News, AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Italy: Teen held in officer's death 'illegally blindfolded'
An Italian police commander says an American teenager under investigation for a police officer's slaying in Rome was "illegally blindfolded" before interrogation
3:51PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Woman set to replace Puerto Rico's governor doesn't want job
The woman who is supposed to replace Puerto Rico's embattled governor amid a political crisis says she doesn't want the job
3:47PM ( 8 minutes ago )
The Latest: Teens' schools react to officer's Rome killing
A high school and a community college in California have issued statements about the two American teenagers who are being held in the slaying of a police officer in Italy
3:42PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
A Tour for the ages is getting its 1st South American winner
A Tour de France for the ages is getting a champion of an unusually young age
2:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
Aide says Trump's critics should focus on problems back home
A top White House aide says President Donald Trump is frustrated by the Democrats' unrelenting investigations and talk of impeachment, and that helps explain why he swung hard on Twitter at an influential black congressman and his Baltimore district
2:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
Woman set to replace Puerto Rico governor rejects job
The woman who is supposed to replace Puerto Rico's embattled governor amid a political crisis says she doesn't want the job
2:31PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
WBC's Ramirez gets TKO in super lightweight unification bout
WBC champion Jose Ramirez delivered a series of vicious punches to the head of WBO champion Maurice Hooker to win the world super lightweight unification bout in the sixth round
10:30AM ( 5 hours ago )
Police fire tear gas as Hong Kong protesters block roads
Police have fired tear gas at protesters in Hong Kong for the second night in a row in another escalation of weeks-long pro-democracy protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory
10:27AM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Russia's Navalny reported in satisfactory health
A spokeswoman says Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is in satisfactory condition after being hospitalized for a severe allergy attack while in jail
9:53AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Trump attacks majority-black district represented by critic
President Donald Trump denigrates a majority-black district represented by a congressional nemesis as a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess"
6:09AM ( 9 hours ago )
Russian police arrest over 1,000 in Moscow election protest
Russian police cracked down fiercely Saturday on demonstrators in central Moscow, beating some people and arresting more than 1,000 who were protesting the exclusion of opposition candidates from the ballot for Moscow city council
4:30AM ( 11 hours ago )
Trump proposal seeks to crack down on food stamp 'loophole'
President Donald Trump's administration is proposing to end an option that has allowed states to exceed federal eligibility thresholds for food stamps by providing applicants with a government brochure
4:06AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Supreme Court: Trump can use Pentagon funds for border wall
The Supreme Court has cleared the way for the Trump administration to tap Pentagon funds to build sections of a border wall with Mexico
8:28AM ( 1 day ago )
Supreme Court allows use of Pentagon funds for border wall
The Supreme Court has cleared the way for the Trump administration to tap Pentagon funds to build sections of a border wall with Mexico
8:31PM ( 1 day ago )
High court allows use of Pentagon funds for border wall
The Supreme Court has cleared the way for the Trump administration to tap Pentagon funds to build sections of a border wall with Mexico
7:55PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Supreme Court News
Italy: Teen held in officer's death 'illegally blindfolded'
An Italian police commander says an American teenager under investigation for a police officer's slaying in Rome was "illegally blindfolded" before interrogation
3:51PM ( 5 minutes ago )
The Latest: Teens' schools react to officer's Rome killing
A high school and a community college in California have issued statements about the two American teenagers who are being held in the slaying of a police officer in Italy
3:42PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Egan Bernal wins Tour de France
Egan Bernal has become the first Colombian to win the Tour de France as the three-week race ended with the 21st and final stage on the Champs-Elysees
3:27PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Blast, gunbattle at Afghan VP candidate's office, 2 dead
Afghan officials say the political offices of the president's running mate were hit by a large explosion and stormed by several gunmen who were killed after a 6-hour standoff with security forces
3:25PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Cruz-Diez, Venezuelan pioneer of kinetic art, dies in Paris
Carlos Cruz-Diez, a leading Venezuelan artist who was praised for his work with color, has died in Paris at age 95.
3:18PM ( 38 minutes ago )