The power struggle in the government leadership keeps the island not only in limbo, but also concerned due to the uncertainty surrounding the steps required to establish governance for the next 17 months.
By international definition, transparency sheds light on the government's rules, plans, processes, and actions. It provides for public servants to act visibly and clearly, and to be accountable for their actions. Thus, people have the means necessary to make informed decisions. Transparency is the best mechanism against corruption, increasing people´s confidence in the institutions.
Outgoing governor Ricardo Rosselló and legislative leaders Carlos Méndez and Thomas Rivera Schatz are compelled to act constitutionally, allowing the people of Puerto Rico to have a governor with the skills and qualities such a position demands. Ignoring this legal and moral duty means turning their backs on Puerto Rico.
Each day without a governor reveals to Puerto Ricans, including New Progressive members, that in this critical moment of the Puerto Rican history, the political leadership that prevailed in the past elections has been encapsulated to meet into its own ambitions. Puerto Rico needs a responsive government that stands firm against foolish ambitions and sectors fighting for the control of the state from the Santa Catalina Palace.
The next governor must have unquestionable credibility and experience to govern without ties to considerations unrelated to the best interests of the people. He or she has to be a suitable candidate to make the deep reforms leading to a dynamic and efficient public structure while finances stabilize.
Puerto Rico has a broad agenda. Among many other pending issues, the government has to work on the grounds for a comprehensive and fair tax reform and on the quality of the education system, a crucial tool for social mobility and economic development. And also on directing the large infrastructure projects that will give way to the new Puerto Rico. Solutions to insolvency in the retirement systems and debt restructuring negotiations also join the agenda.
The new government will immediately have to catch up with the situation in each agency and make sure that they adopt strict anti-corruption controls, particularly the Health Insurance Administration and the Department of Education, victims of alleged multimillion-dollar diversion of federal funds. He or she will have to speak frankly to Puerto Rico, the federal government and investment markets about the condition in which he or she has received the administration, and the steps proposed to regain the island´s stability and credibility. This has to be done through dialogue and openness, leaving old styles behind.
Rosselló and the legislative leadership must put Puerto Rico first and must solve the succession without further delay so that Puerto Ricans start a new chapter this Friday.
In this historic moment, Puerto Ricans are carefully watching and see who are the ones behaving as true state leaders and who are betraying them by jeopardizing the island’s credibility, the release of federal funds and the recovery of our democratic institutions.
Extending the institutional instability and, therefore the uncertainty it brings, jeopardizes the people´s efforts and aspirations to have a government that represents them with dignity.
Failing to honestly speak to the people and to appoint the best person to assume the highest office would be unforgivable before the judgment of history.