April 14, 2021

Pierluisi must leave the Government of Puerto Rico today after the Supreme Court ruling

The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico announced on Wednesday that the amendment of a law that allowed the swearing last Friday of Pedro Pierluisi as governor of the island is unconstitutional, so he must leave office today.

Today's decision of the Supreme Court was adopted unanimously by the nine judges of the court and its application will be effective from 17.00 local time (21.00 GMT), so Pierluisi will cease to be governor from that moment.

The ruling issued today by the high court, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Senate, states that Law 7 of 1952, amended in 2005, which was based on the oath of Pierluisi, last Friday, is unconstitutional.

Pierluisi, who was last week in the process of being confirmed as secretary of state, assumed Friday as governor of Puerto Rico after Ricardo Rosselló, who resigned from office after a scandal over his participation in a controversial chat, announced that it was his substitute.

An hour earlier, the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico had approved the appointment of Pierluisi as secretary of state, who is by constitutional mandate who must assume as governor in case of power vacuum, but the Senate endorsement remained.

The designation of Pierluisi as governor and his subsequent oath has raised a political and judicial dust on the island due to different interpretations of the Constitution and the law that is made.

The Secretary of Justice, who is still in the line of succession, is Wanda Vázquez, who on several occasions, after Rosselló's resignation, made it clear that she had no interest in taking office.

Today, the newspaper El Nuevo Día, one of the main ones on the island, indicated that Vázquez plans to resign as governor and propose as secretary of state to the representative of Puerto Rico before the House of Representatives of the United States, Jennifer González, who, If it was endorsed by the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico, it would be the new governor.

“The Constitution is the mandate of the People of Puerto Rico. Therefore, when the Supreme Court maintains the faithful observance of the Constitution, the People of Puerto Rico win, "Gonzalez said in a statement after hearing the ruling.

Today's decision of the high court is the result of a lawsuit filed by the president of the Senate, Thomas Rivera, who considered that since Pierluisi did not have the backing of both houses, only the House of Representatives, he could not swear the office.

Rosselló formalized his resignation last Friday after the scandal generated by his participation, along with several advisors, in a private chat in which numerous groups were insulted and caused a wave of demonstrations

"With absolute legitimacy, we will seek true peace and stability. Now is when the detestable group of the chat that lied, mocked, machined, conspired, broke the law and betrayed Puerto Rico. It was disguised to try to stay but finally they leave and we will put order and direction, "Rivera said today in a statement after hearing the sentence.

"To all the experts, experts, political scientists, constitutionalist analysts, dissociators, politicians and opportunists who accused me and pointed me out, analyze now and learn!"

The president of the main opposition party, the Popular Democratic Party (PPD), Aníbal José Torres, said in another statement that the court "has validated the democracy and representativeness guaranteed by the Legislative Assembly. A resounding decision that sends a message of course before an attempt to usurp power. "

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