Puerto Rico’s scandal continued this weekend as the government official who was expected to replace ousted governor Ricardo Rosselló–who resigned last week after two weeks of public outcry calling for him to step down–said that she does not want to become governor.
As dictated by the law, Secretary of Justice Wanda Vázquez was assumed to become governor on August 2. However, Vázquez took to Twitter on Sunday to announce that she is not interested and that she would like for Rosselló to choose someone else for the job.
Me reitero, no tengo interés en ocupar el puesto de Gobernadora. Es un dictamen Constitucional. Espero que el señor Gobernador identifique y someta un candidato para el puesto de Secretario/a de Estado antes del 2 de agosto y así se lo he manifestado.
— Lcda. Wanda Vázquez Garced (@wandavazquezg) July 28, 2019
“I reiterate, I have no interest in occupying the position of Governor,” said Vázquez in her tweet. “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’s reluctance does not come as a complete surprise—citizens of the island were already calling for her to resign before Rosselló even left the position. Many believe that her complacency during the mishandling of the Hurricane Maria disaster in 2017 and subsequent investigation, proves that she is not fit for the office of governor.
She also did not participate in the investigation of the Rosselló’s “Chatgate” scandal, which involved the governor making misogynistic and homophobic statements and also revealed criminal activity within the government. Vásquez was reportedly mentioned in the chain of leaked messages.
The hashtag #WandaRenuncia surfaced on Twitter the night before Rosselló stepped down when it became apparent that his resignation was imminent. With Vázquez’s opposition citing that she is too close to Rosselló, among other critiques including not having ever held a publicly elected position–the public believes she is simply not experienced enough to be governor. Vázquez has also been involved in a scandal herself; back in 2018, she intervened in a theft case involving her own family members.
It is uncertain who will become governor if not Vázquez once Roselló officially leaves office later this week. The next in line for the governorship would be Secretary of Education Eligio Hernandez Perez, who has only been in office for a few months.