Puerto Rico Senate sues to oust new governor

Puerto Rico Senate sues to oust new governor
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Puerto Rico's Senate filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block Gov. Pedro PierluisiPedro Rafael PierluisiDemocrats battle over best path for Puerto Rico Where to, Puerto Rico? Puerto Rico debt restructure plan threatens public pensions MORE from continuing as the territory's governor, in the wake of a stunted succession process last week.

Pierluisi was sworn in Friday after outgoing Gov. Ricardo Rosselló's resignation, but never received the Senate's approval as Rosselló's successor.


Pierluisi had been acting secretary of state for nearly a week. A scheduled vote for the Senate to confirm his nomination was brought down Thursday by Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz.

The territory's House voted on Friday to confirm the nomination, and Pierluisi was sworn in under a recess appointment law, despite the island's legislature having convened for an emergency session.

“Puerto Rico is living a situation without historical precedent,” wrote Rivera Schatz.

The Senate has requested the island's Supreme Court to take the case, but the high court has not yet decided whether it will do so.

Rivera Schatz had scheduled a vote on Pierluisi's nomination as secretary of state for Wednesday, but Pierluisi said in a statement the vote is now moot, since he has already been sworn in as governor.

"I remind all that I swore in as governor being in full possession of the post of secretary of the Department of State. I swore that post while the Legislative Assembly was in recess, as that ceremony took place Wednesday the 31st of July at 5:00 p.m. and the extraordinary session of the Legislative Assembly did not start until Thursday at 11:00 a.m.," wrote Pierluisi in a statement.