Puerto Ricans celebrate exit of disgraced governor as constitutional crisis over replacement looms
Thousands of protestors gathered to celebrate the ousting of disgraced former governor Ricardo Rossello today (August 5) as the constitutional crisis surrounding his replacement looms.
"In the middle of a loud noise of drums, singing and pot beating, protesters say goodbye to the former Governor of Puerto Rico in a very culturally uniting way," said Felix, the filmer.
Puerto Rico's constitutional crisis was expected to deepen on Monday after the island's Senate filed a lawsuit seeking to oust a veteran politician recently sworn in as the island's governor as legislators squabble over who should lead the U.S. territory.
The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction ordering Pedro Pierluisi to cease his functions immediately and also asks that the court declare unconstitutional a 2005 law that states a secretary of state does not have to be approved by both the House and Senate if he has to step in as governor.
"Puerto Rico is living a situation without historical precedent," wrote Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz.
Pierluisi was named secretary of state, the next in line to be governor, in a recess appointment last week.
The island's House of Representatives then confirmed him to the position in a 26-to-21 vote on Friday, a move he argues makes him the replacement for Gov.
However, the Senate had not yet voted on the appointment, and it was expected to do so Monday afternoon.
In addition, the court announced it would review the lawsuit late Monday, prompting further comment from Schatz.
"We are a people of LAW and ORDER," he wrote in a Facebook post.
"There is no circumstance that places someone above the Law."
Pierluisi said in a statement that there is no time to lose.
"Although it is regrettable that this matter has to be elucidated in our courts, I hope that it will be treated with the greatest urgency and diligence for the good of the people of Puerto Rico," he said.
Rosselló formally resigned on Aug.
2 following nearly two weeks of popular protests amid anger over corruption, mismanagement of funds and a leaked obscenity-laced chat in which he and 11 other men made fun of women, gay people and victims of Hurricane María, among others.
Puerto Rico's constitution said the secretary of state takes over if the governor steps down, and one amendment states that everyone in line to become governor has to be confirmed by both the House and Senate, except for the secretary of state.
Information in this story is provided courtesy of NBC News.