Governor Wanda Vázquez announced the appointment of Raúl Márquez Hernández as Secretary of State following the resignation of Elmer Román two weeks ago.
Vázquez made the announcement yesterday in a televised message in which again no questions from the press were allowed and only access for photos was given.
The only information that the governor offered about the designated person is that he is a lawyer and has “professional experience in municipalities, the Legislature, the Executive and the private sector.”
Márquez Hernández was mentioned publicly at the beginning of the year for being with the former Secretary of the Interior, Ricardo Llerandi, when he had to leave a cafeteria in the middle of a protest with saucepans against him.
“I appreciate the commitment and availability of Mr. Márquez Hernández in accepting this important task to give continuity and assume the direction of the Department of State,” said the president. “In the most difficult moments the people have had, may we have upright, honest officials dedicated to serving this people. We are going to continue giving the best effort and the best heart for Puerto Ricans, ”he added.
This appointment comes four months after the end of the current administration and at a time when the Legislature is not in session. In order for legislators to pass judgment on this designation, the governor would have to convene another extraordinary session. As it is an electoral year, there was only one ordinary session that ended on June 30.
“This is not over”
In accepting the appointment, Márquez Hernández briefly addressed the fact that there is little time left to complete this administration. The first executive lost the primary against Pedro Pierluisi for the New Progressive Party (PNP) candidacy for governor.
The appointee spoke of “moving the economy forward” and handling the Covid-19 issue.
“It will be my responsibility to ensure that the government that is elected in November has an administration that is running multiple initiatives for the benefit of the people and has everything necessary for the transition, as required by law,” he said. “A more agile government is needed that uses technology to advance the government’s public policy agenda,” he said.
Then he added that “we have a little more than 100 days left. This is not over. This administration will continue to implement public policy ”.
Márquez Hernández was the platform director in the campaign for Vázquez’s candidacy for governor.
The pro-independence senator and candidate for governor Juan Dalmau indicated, for his part, that he has no information about the designated person.
“I have no greater personal knowledge of this person other than that (the governor) is trying to appoint figures who already have their history with respect to the administration and that basically it is the old adage of tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are, ”he said.
“They are people who have their history. But beyond that, I cannot give an opinion until the hearings are done and I have an opportunity for a personal confrontation with him, “added Dalmau.
Popular representative Jesús Manuel Ortiz pointed out that the appointment responds to the transition process that is coming. “This process must fall on a person trusted by the governor, such as the nominee. As for the lawyer Márquez, it seems to me that he has the attributes for the task that lies ahead, ”he said.