Puerto Rico swears in Wanda Vázquez as new Governor

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Wanda Vázquez

Puerto Rico’s Justice Secretary, Wanda Vázquez has been sworn in as the US territory’s new governor hours after her predecessor was forced to stand down by the Supreme Court.

She is the third politician to occupy the post in less than a week.

Ricardo Rossello resigned on Friday after street protests prompted by the leak of offensive messages.

His replacement, Pedro Pierluisi, was removed by the Supreme Court on constitutional grounds after five days.

Ms Vázquez has promised to bring political stability to Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria two years ago.

She had publicly stated that she was not interested in becoming governor but was next in line to Mr Pierluisi, according to the constitution.

In a statement released after her swearing in, she said she was assuming office “with the greatest respect and determination to serve my people and to push Puerto Rico forward.”

Her inauguration came after Supreme Court justices ruled that as the Senate had never confirmed Mr Pierluisi, “the assumption of the office of governor was unconstitutional.”

However, Mr Pierluisi has called for unity and urged Puerto Ricans to discard, “political-partisan, ideological or personal agendas.”

 

Christopher Ojilere