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Pierluisi sworn-in as next Puerto Rico governor: statement

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 3, 2019 - Duration: 01:16s

Pierluisi sworn-in as next Puerto Rico governor: statement

The Puerto Rico governor's office on Friday said the lawyer who formerly represented the bankrupt island in the U.S. Congress was sworn in to replace embattled Ricardo Rossello.

Gavino Garay reports.

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Pierluisi sworn-in as next Puerto Rico governor: statement

Hundreds erupted in celebration on the streets of San Juan on Friday when the clock struck 5pm -- the moment the island's embattled governor, Ricardo Rossello, said he'd officially step down following a political scandal that incensed his opponents.

Rosselló's office on Friday said attorney Pedro Pierluisi was sworn in as the U.S. territory's next governor, a move the island's Senate leader quickly blasted as "illegal." Rosselló agreed to leave office last month after hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans took to the streets demanding his resignation and condemning leaked, profane messages by Rossello and other officials.

Rossello had earlier picked Pierluisi to be secretary of state, which also put him next in line to lead the island, after interim-Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez said she didn't want to be governor.

Pierluisi was confirmed Friday by the island's House of Representatives, but Puerto Rico's Senate pushed off their vote until next week.

Pierluisi also has many opponents... who question his former role in overseeing the island's bankruptcy... and his ability to lead Puerto Rico.

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