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Ricardo Rossello resigns as Puerto Rico Governor amid row on political scandals

Earlier this month, the FBI had arrested two former cabinet officials in Rosselló’s government as part of a corruption probe over their handling of $15.5 million in post-hurricane contracts.

SNS | New Delhi |

After a series of political scandals and almost 10 days of massive anti-government protest, Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rosselló announced his resignation on Wednesday.

Rossello said that he would continue working until August 2 to allow an orderly transition, the BBC reported.

“I announce that I will be resigning from the Governor’s post effective on Friday, August 2 at 5 pm,” Rossello said in a video statement late on Wednesday.

His announcement triggered celebrations on the streets of the capital San Juan. Rossello will be replaced by the US Caribbean island territory’s Justice Secretary Wanda Vazquez.

Late on Monday, police in San Juan shot tear gas into the crowds after hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans packed the capital’s main avenues for the ninth day of protests.

Each day, the number of people calling for Rossello to resign kept growing. Rosselló, however, tried to make it clear that he had no intention of leaving.

On Tuesday, one of his biggest donors who owns the largest shopping mall in the Caribbean urged Rosselló to step down.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, the Governor had admitted that his participation and statements in the private chat were improper but not illegal and reiterated that he would remain in his post.

The demonstrations have been growing since investigative reporters on the island, published leaked Telegram app messages, showing Rosselló and his inner circle joking about casualties from Hurricane Maria and ridiculing political rivals with violent, homophobic, and sexist language.

Earlier this month, the FBI had arrested two former cabinet officials in Rosselló’s government as part of a corruption probe over their handling of $15.5 million in post-hurricane contracts.