Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez would become Puerto Rico's second woman to hold the job of governor.
However, in a tweet on Sunday, Vázquez wrote, “I have no interest in occupying the position of Governor.”
She continued, “It is a Constitutional opinion. I hope that the Governor identifies and submits a candidate for the position of Secretary of State before August 2,” the day Rosselló, a Democrat and member of the territory's New Progressive Party (PNP), is expected to step down.
She added that she told the embattled governor about her wishes.
Puerto Rico Justice Secretary Wanda Vazquez, seen here in January 2018, said she did not want to take over as governor. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)
Vázquez made the comments about four days after Rosselló announced he will relinquish his post this coming Friday, becoming the first governor to resign in the history of the U.S. island territory. Many Puerto Ricans also have demanded her removal amid the crisis.
The embattled governor's decision came following more than a week of protests against him, spurred by a leak of crude and insulting chat messages between Rosselló and his top advisers. Prior to Rosselló announcing his own departure, lawmakers made threats of impeachment.
His announcement was met with the sounds of fireworks going off in Puerto Rico’s capital, as people were seen crying, banging pots and pans and playing music.
Demonstrators among the jubilant crowds celebrating the resignation in Old San Juan told Fox News on Thursday they were “relieved,” but that there still were a “lot of corrupt people we want to get out of here.”
The leaked conversations reportedly showed the governor mocking women, homosexuals, political opponents and victims of Hurricane Maria.
In one message, Rosselló reportedly called one New York female politician of Puerto Rican descent a “w—e” and described another as a “daughter of a b—h.” One chat included vulgar references to Latin pop star Ricky Martin’s homosexuality.
More than a dozen officials already have resigned since the chats were leaked, including former Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marin, who would have been next in line to replace Rosselló, according to the U.S. territory’s Constitution.
The island has tried to restructure part of $70 billion in debt and cope with a 13-year recession that has led to an exodus of nearly half a million people to the U.S. mainland in the past decade. Many Puerto Ricans have been resentful over the resulting pension cuts, school closings and other austerity measures.
Fox News’ Greg Norman, Bryan Llenas, Brie Stimson, Danielle Wallace and The Associated Press contributed to this report.