Monday, March 1, 2021

Puerto Rico Governor Announces Bid to Stay in Office

By on December 17, 2019

Gov. Wanda Vázquez (Juan J. Rodríguez/CB)

Vázquez Will Face Former Resident Commissioner Pierluisi in NPP Primary

SAN JUAN – Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced announced Monday her bid to remain in office as a gubernatorial candidate under the majority New Progressive Party (NPP) in the 2020 elections.

In a message broadcast via, the governor said the people of Puerto Rico are tired of traditional politicians.

“In these four months I have dedicated myself to listening,” Vázquez said Tuesday after first rejecting her constitutional turn in the gubernatorial succession line after Rosselló resigned, as well as assuring she would not run in the 2020 elections.

“I announce my aspiration to the governor’s candidacy under my New Progressive Party (NPP),” she said. “As governor, I will continue working for the people, regardless of their ideology….  I have proven integrity, commitment and honesty. My only promise is to work hard, stay true to my principles and treat these with integrity and sincerity.”

For the past few weeks, Vázquez had said that if she did decide to run for governor, she would announce it to the people first. 

The governor will be facing former Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi in the NPP primaries.

Vázquez recounted some of her achievements in her short time in office, such as being able to solve some of the problems at the Forensic Sciences Institute, which had a backlog of autopsies; holding meetings with Vieques and Culebra residents to find solutions to the maritime transportation problem to the island-municipalities; and achieving that federal recovery funds for some municipalities is disbursed more quickly.

“My name is Wanda Vázquez Garced and I will continue being the governor of Puerto Rico,” she then said Tuesday.

If she wins the primaries and then the general elections, Vázquez will be the island’s 12th elected governor and the second female governor. 

Vázquez became governor in August after Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resigned when massive protests were carried out for him to step down following the leak of profane and misogynistic messages between him and his inner circle on a Telegram chat group. Pierluisi, meanwhile, was governor for five days, but the Puerto Rico Supreme Court issued a decision declaring his swearing in unconstitutional.

Rosselló had been appointed Pierluisi as secretary of State under the premise of a 2005 amendment to Act 7 of 1952, which stated that a secretary of State appointed during a legislative recess did not need to be confirmed by both legislative chambers. Pierluisi was sworn in as governor only seconds after Rosselló resigned at 5 p.m. on Aug. 2. 

However, on Aug. 7, the Supreme Court issued its decision and Vázquez was sworn in by Chief Justice Maite Oronoz.

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