Embattled Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is expected to resign Wednesday after nearly two weeks of protests calling for his ouster, CNN reports.
Thousands of protesters have held demonstrations since Rosselló’s misogynistic, homophobic, and offensive texts referring to opponents and Hurricane Maria victims were leaked.
Protesters told reporters that the leaked texts sparked the protests but the frustration was caused by years of corruption and poverty.
Protesters cheered when they heard reports that the governor would step down.
Puerto Rico Secretary of Justice Wanda Vazquez is expected to replace Rosselló but some protesters say she is too closely aligned with the governor.
Rosselló previously vowed to stay on:
Just days earlier, the governor announced he would not seek re-election next year but vowed to stay on. But his allies continued to flee and on Tuesday his chief of staff, Ricardo Llerandi Cruz, resigned.
"The last few days have been extremely difficult for everyone. At this historical juncture it is up to me to take the welfare of my family into consideration. The threats we've received can be tolerated as an individual, but I will never allow them to affect my home,” he wrote.
The resignation came less than two weeks after the arrest of Education Secretary Julia Keleher and Angela Avila Marrero, executive director of the island's health insurance administration, by the FBI following a corruption investigation.
Debt crisis contributed to Rosselló’s demise:
The protesters have been chanting “Ricky renuncia y llévate a la Junta” which translates to, “Ricky resign, and take the ‘junta’ with you.” The “junta” refers to the unelected fiscal control board that has imposed austerity measures in an effort to pay off the island’s debt, Vice News reported.
Protesters have called for the board to be removed.
“Demands vary, but they include calls for policies that prevent corruption, revolving doors and lobbyist influence,” the Washington Post reported. “Protesters also want greater media transparency and autonomy, the development of a feminist curriculum in K-12 education, the declaration of a state of emergency to respond to the crisis of gender-based violence, auditing and canceling Puerto Rico’s debt and the removal of the FOMB. Sen. Vargas Vidot answered the call for systemic changes by introducing legislation that would create a new constitutional assembly.”