Friday, September 24, 2021

Governor Arrives at Capitol to Take Office

By on January 2, 2017

SAN JUAN—He wasted no time. Starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday, when he was sworn in as the twelfth governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló Nevares began his work by submitting executive orders and sending bills to the Legislature even before his formal oath ceremony, which began at around 11:00 a.m. at the Capitol building in the island’s capital.

First Lady Beatriz Rosselló looks on as Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares delivers his first speech as Puerto Rico governor at the north steps of the Capitol building in San Juan, Monday, Jan. 2. (CB/Juan José Rodríguez)

After being sworn in, Rosselló Nevares attended Mass in Santa Bernardo Parish, Guaynabo’s Caparra community, where he also had breakfast with his close relatives and the church’s priest, Father Wilfredo Peña.

Rosselló Nevares then arrived at about 10:20 a.m. to the Capitol, shortly after the inauguration of the new Legislature, and peering out one of the windows of the third floor of the Capitol building, toward the north wing, where the formal ceremony would take place, the audience shouted excitedly and the presenter announced: “Today is historic, joyful day for Puerto Rico.”

With Monday’s ceremony—in which former Puerto Rico Govs. Carlos Romero Barceló, Luis Fortuño and Pedro Rosselló, the new governor’s father, were also in attendance— Rosselló Nevares became Puerto Rico’s youngest governor, along with former governor Rafael Hernández Colón, who was also 37 when he was sworn in.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González greet the people in attendance from a window of the Capitol building in San Juan, Tuesday, Jan. 2. (CB/Juan José Rodríguez)

Also present at the event were Carlos Molina, mayor of Arecibo; María “Mayita” Meléndez, mayor of Ponce; Lornna Soto, mayor of Canóvanas; and Ramón Luis Rivera Jr., mayor of Bayamón. Former San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini was also present at the event and received plenty of cheers.

The head of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez, as well as the newly sworn legislators from different parties, former independent gubernatorial candidates Manuel Cidre and Alexandra Lúgaro, and the members of Rosselló Nevares’s cabinet were also on hand.

New Progressive Party shouted party slogans under an intense Caribbean sun as they waited for the event to start, which was set up in a traditional way, namely on the steps of the north wing of the Capitol and with the chief justice of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, Maité Oronoz, in charge of the ceremony.

Crowd gathered at the northern steps of the Capitol building in San Juan, Tuesday, Jan. 2. (CB/Juan José Rodríguez)

The Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, directed by Maximiliano Valdés, and the San Juan Children’s Choir also participated.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the governor is expected to walk along with those in attendance to La Fortaleza, where he arrives 24 years after his father took office for the first time.

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