Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello’s promise not to seek re-election was meant to mollify citizens of the bankrupt commonwealth after reams of embarrassing texts leaked from his administration. On Sunday night, many said Rossello was merely postponing his well-deserved exit.
After days of protests, residents of San Juan poured into the colonial quarter to celebrate his retreat — and call for more. Hundreds gathered in front of Fortaleza, the gubernatorial residence, to chant demands for Rossello’s departure after the publication of profane and sexist messages from him and his inner circle.
Rossello said in an address that he would step down as head of his New Progressive Party. But he pledged to stay in office until the election in 2020, despite demands by protesters and politicians that he leave at once after the scandal and arrest of two former members of his administration on corruption charges.
CBS News reports:
“I recognize that apologizing is not sufficient,” Rosselló said in a livestream on social media. “And only my work will help restore the trust of these sectors and embark on a real reconciliation.”
Rosselló also said in his remarks that he’s ready to face a potential effort by the island’s legislature to initiate impeachment proceedings and remove him from office.
For nine straight days and nights, thousands of protestors have mobilized to organize large-scale rallies, including several outside the governor’s mansion in San Juan’s colonial neighborhood. One massive, star-studded demonstration drew between 100,000 and 500,000 people.