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Puerto Rico governor says he would not seek re-election

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Puerto Rico's embattled Governor Ricardo Rossello announced on Sunday (local time) that he would not seek re-election next year following days of protest calling for his resignation over leaked chat messages.

In a facebook live, Rossello said that he would resign as president of the New Progressive party, but intends to finish his term as Governor.

"A huge portion of the population is unhappy and I recognize it," CNN quoted Rossello as saying. "I've heard you, I love the island and people. ... Today I have the responsibility to direct my strengths to try to find alternatives so that with God we may be able to move forward."

"I'm going to be looking forward to turning over power to the person elected democratically," he added.

The calls to oust the Governor began after offensive private chat messages between Rossello and his inner circle were made public last week. The chats included profanity-laced, homophobic and misogynistic messages about fellow politicians, members of the media and celebrities.

"It is a good first step but he must resign as Governor and allow another to finish the term," said Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, Puerto Rico's resident commissioner in Washington.

The demand to oust Rossello was also driven by the corruption allegations faced by his administration. In addition, the Island battles high poverty rates, crushing debt and painful recovery from 2017's devastating Hurricane Maria.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, July 22 2019. 15:41 IST