The Government of Puerto Ricowill appoint Pedro Pierluigi as the next Secretary of State, David Benioux confirmed on Tuesday. This means that, if approved by the House and Senate, Pierluwissi will become the next governor when Russell formally resigns on Friday.
Rep. Jose Melendez told the Associated Press, the chairman of the Island House of Representatives shared the information with lawmakers and asked them to be ready to meet in a special session. The special session will meet on Friday at 1 pm, with Russell's resignation set for 5 am.
Puerto Rico is in crisis as a group messaging scandal prompted several senior officials to resign, including the secretary of state. Rosello announced last week that he would resign on Friday, and the next member of the line, Justice Minister Vanda Vasquez, said he had no "interest" in being governor.
Pierluigi pitted against Roselo in the 2016 New Progressive Party primaries and lost. He serves as the Representative of Puerto Rico in Congress from 2009 to 2017.
If the House and Senate approve the nomination, Pierluigi will become the next governor of Puerto Rico after Rosello's resignation after nearly two weeks of major street protests.
However, Melendez and other members of the Rossello Party said they would not vote in favor of Pierluigi, in part because he works as a law firm representing the Federal Control Board overseeing Puerto Rico's finances.
"This is a serious conflict of interest," Melendez said.
Pierluwisi, who could not be immediately reached for comment, took leave early Tuesday, according to his law firm's website.
In a recent tweet, Pierluigi stated that the firm's rules did not allow him to speak or provide interviews.
Puerto Rico "is experiencing unprecedented moments, but I believe we will move forward," he writes. "My commitment to (Puerto Rico) and my people is as firm as ever."