The Latest: Vázquez sworn in as PR governor after ruling
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The latest on the political turmoil in Puerto Rico (all times local):
Puerto Rico Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez has been sworn in as the island’s new governor, culminating weeks of political turmoil.
Vázquez took the oath of office early Wednesday evening at the Puerto Rican Supreme Court, which earlier in the day ruled that Pedro Pierluisi’s swearing in last week was unconstitutional.
The day’s events settle at least the dispute over who will lead the U.S. territory after its political establishment was knocked off balance by large protests.
But they were also expected to unleash a new wave of demonstrations because many Puerto Ricans have said they don’t want Vázquez as governor.
Former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló was forced to resign by anger over corruption, mismanagement of funds and a leaked obscenity-laced chat.
Pierluisi was sworn in as governor Friday. But that was challenged in court by the Senate.
Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court has overturned the swearing in of Pedro Pierluisi as the island’s governor less than a week ago, clearing the way for Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez to take up the post after weeks of turmoil.
Wednesday’s decision cannot be appealed. But it is expected to unleash new demonstrations because many Puerto Ricans have said they don’t want her as governor.
Pierluisi was appointed secretary of state by then-Gov. Ricardo Rosselló while legislators were in recess, and only the House approved his nomination. Pierluisi was then sworn in as governor Friday after Rosselló formally resigned in response to angry street protests.
Puerto Rico’s Senate sued to challenge Pierluisi’s legitimacy as governor, arguing that its approval was also necessary. The Supreme Court judges ruled in favor of the Senate.