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Puerto Ricans debate legitimacy of leader

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 8/05/19, 09:57 am

Outgoing Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló swore in his replacement Friday, but not everyone on the island accepts Pedro Pierluisi as the new governor. Rosselló had to do some constitutional gymnastics to justify Pierluisi’s appointment, and the Puerto Rican Senate is already taking steps to undo it.

Who’s in charge now? The Puerto Rican Constitution says the secretary of state takes over if the governor resigns. Amid a financial crisis, corruption allegations, and a scandal known as “Chatgate,” mass protests in recent weeks forced Rosselló to step down. Chatgate also brought down the previous secretary of state, so Rosselló had to rush Pierluisi’s appointment and confirmation to the position. The House has confirmed him, but the Senate hasn’t. Rosselló, citing a law about recess appointments, swore in Pierluisi anyway and is done as governor regardless. The Senate filed a lawsuit against the appointment late Sunday and could vote on it Monday.

Dig deeper: Read WORLD’s coverage of what led up to the U.S. territory’s leadership crisis and editor in chief Marvin Olasky’s reporting from his most recent trip to the island.

WORLD has updated this report with the Puerto Rican Senate’s actions to block the governor’s appointment.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Sat, 08/03/2019 01:38 am

    Maybe, as Puerto Rico’s favorite daughter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said, “they have no choice but to riot.”