Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló said Sunday afternoon that he will not seek reelection in the 2020 general elections and that he will step down as president of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party (NPP).
However, he again refused to resign from his post as governor, and welcomed the legal evaluation towards a possible impeachment, a process that the Puerto Rico House of Representatives began Thursday.
“I welcome the process begun by the Legislative Assembly, which I will face with truthfulness, strength and in a responsible manner,” said Rosselló in a statement broadcast through Facebook Live.
Rosselló has found himself in the middle of the worst political scandal in the island’s recent history, after private texts between him and close aides with sexist and homophobic comments aimed at politicians, journalists and ordinary citizens got leaked publicly more than a week ago.
Since then, rallies have taken place on a daily basis in San Juan, calling for his resignation, including a particularly large gathering last Wednesday led by celebrities Ricky Martin, Residente, Bad Bunny and others.
Leaders in Rosselló’s own NPP have also called for his resignation, among them Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González, former Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuño and a sizable group of municipal mayors.
Stateside, several prominent figures have echoed the widespread sentiment, including Republican Senator Rick Scott (Florida), Democrat Reps. Nydia Velázquez and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Democratic presidential primary candidates like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.
“I am aware of the dissatisfaction and resentment that (people) feel,” said Rosselló in his latest statement. “I have made mistakes and have apologized (but) despite everything, I recognize that asking for forgiveness is not enough.”
“Only my work will help to restore trust in those sectors and bring about a true reconciliation,” Rosselló added.
Monday is slated to bring about the biggest rally yet against the Puerto Rico governor, with a citywide march convened by several labor unions and activist groups.