The Puerto Rico Economists Association has joined the chorus of private-sector voices asking Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to step down from his post and make way for “an orderly transition.”
Meanwhile, the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association separately asked the various government branches to do their part and act swiftly to resolve the turmoil currently engulfing the island.
“Achieving economic and social well-being must be one of the main objectives of all governments. For this, it is fundamental to create a context in which one can compete fairly, avoiding at all costs benefitting individuals or companies for their contacts and friendships,” according to a statement the trade group issued on behalf of its Board of Directors.
“These types of acts discourage investment and weaken economic recovery efforts, becoming an obstacle to achieving everybody’s well-being,” the statement read.
This historic moment is “key for Puerto Rico” because the island is going through a “delicate process” of restructuring the debt, while the economy has not recovered the production levels obtained prior to the hurricanes of 2017. The island is also years into its second decade of a deep economic recession.
“Puerto Rico needs a leadership that fosters social cohesion, trust and support of citizens. We demand economic transparency to get out of the crisis in which we’re submerged, but also, we need to promote economic and structural changes,” the Economists Association said.
“This, to really favor the island’s anti-corruption efforts, and for the government to show that it has a long-term commitment with substantial reforms to eradicate corruption,” it said, adding the governor must resign his position to make way for an orderly transition, and in consultation with civil society.
“We have to refocus our efforts toward an economic recovery and put Puerto Rico first, always,” the group said in its statement.
For its part, the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association said he events that have gone down in recent weeks — the arrests of six people associated with the Rosselló administration, including former Education Secretary Julia Keleher —have led to a government crisis that affects the the island’s stability, the credibility as a place of law and order and Puerto Rico’s attractiveness as an investment location.
“It is the responsibility of the various government branches follow established democratic processes to provide stability to our institutions and restore calm to the public. We have already given enough space to all parties for reflection and we must act now,” said PRMA President Carlos M. Rodríguez.
The PRMA chief asked for swift and quick action from the Executive Branch by appointing a new Secretary of State; the Legislature to approve the designation and call a session for that purpose; and for the Legislature and Judicial branches to begin an evaluation process of the governor’s permanence in his post.