Jul 21, 2019

Puerto Rico governor says he will not seek re-election amid mass protests

Mass protests in Puerto Rico. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced Sunday that he will not seek re-election next year and will step down as president of the New Progressive Party, but stopped short of saying he will resign as governor before the end of his term.

Why it matters: Protestors took to the streets last week to demand Rosselló resign over leaked Telegram messages between the governor and his top aides that were reported to include misogynistic, profane and homophobic comments. Some of the messages were reported to have mocked victims of Hurricane Maria, a disaster over which Rosselló's administration has been criticized for mishandling.

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Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announces resignation

Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rossello. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Puerto Rico's Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced his resignation, effective Aug. 2, on Wednesday night — after days of massive protests calling for him to step down over a leaked messaging scandal, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Why it matters: Rosselló is the U.S. commonwealth's first governor to resign, per NBC News. Hours before he announced he was stepping down, an investigation, brought forth by Puerto Rico's House of Representatives into possible wrongdoing including corruption and conflicts of interest, revealed 5 impeachable offenses against him.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jul 25, 2019

Hundreds of thousands fill streets of Puerto Rico as governor refuses to resign

An aerial view from a drone shows thousands of people as they fill the Expreso Las Américas highway calling for the ouster of Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans filled the streets of San Juan Monday demanding the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, who said on Sunday that he would not step down even as his government has become engulfed in scandal.

Catch up quick: Leaked text messages revealed Rosselló and members of his inner circles making sexist and homophobic comments and mocking victims of Hurricane Maria, a disaster that killed thousands and caused the longest electrical blackout in U.S. history. The leak came just days after a separate incident, in which the FBI arrested two officials from Rosselló's administration for mishandling government contracts worth millions of dollars.

Go deeperArrowJul 22, 2019

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló names successor

Pedro Pierluisi speaks before the Puerto Rican House of Representatives on August 2. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former congressional representative Pedro Pierluisi will be sworn in as Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló's replacement, according to a statement from Rosselló's office obtained by the AP on Friday.

What's happening: Pierluisi was confirmed by the Puerto Rican House of Representatives as the territory's secretary of state on Friday, per the AP. Rosselló's office claims that Pierluisi does not need confirmation from the territory's House and Senate to be the next governor, as he's been named secretary of state. However, legal battles over Rosselló's successor are still possible.

Go deeperArrowAug 2, 2019