A man walks past a sign that reads “You are finally leaving. Ricky resign. Thanks Puerto Rico for resisting” on the street that leads to La Fortaleza, the official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico, and where protests calling for the resignation of Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló occurred, in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 26. File photo credit Reuters/Marco Bello.

 

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico--Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló has named the island’s former representative in the US Congress, Pedro Pierluisi as his new secretary of state, and next in line to succeed him when he steps down on Friday, El Nuevo Dia newspaper reported.

  Rosselló said last week he would step down in the face of mass street protests and public outrage over the release of profane chat messages and federal corruption charges against two former administration officials.

  Puerto Rico lower house Representative José Meléndez told the newspaper that legislators had been informed of Rosselló’s decision on Tuesday afternoon by President of the chamber, Johnny Méndez.

  Replacing the first-term governor became complicated after Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marin, who would have been first in line to assume the office, resigned on July 13 because of his participation in the group chat. Afterwards, the second in line for the top government post, Secretary of Justice Wanda Vazquez said she did not want the position.

  Pierluisi has taken a leave of absence starting Tuesday, July 30, from Washington law firm O’Neill & Borges, where he works as a corporate and government affairs lawyer, according to his profile page on the company’s website. ~ Reuters ~