Elmer Román

Puerto Rico Secretary of State Elmer Román. >Carlos Rivera Giusti

The Senate of Puerto Rico confirmed on Monday afternoon Elmer Román as the island's new secretary of State.

The New Progressive Party (NPP) leadership in the legislative body took several turns in favor of Román's appointment, including the chairman of the Senate Safety Committee, Henry Neumann.

"Following the same job he did as secretary of the umbrella of the Department of Public Safety, he will now do it as secretary of the Department of State. Congratulations, Captain Elmer Román," Neumann said.

Pro-statehood Sen. Ángel Chayanne Martínez also voiced his approval.

Meanwhile, senators under the Popular Democratic Party (PDP), Aníbal José Torres and Cirilo Tirado, opposed confirming Román, as did independent Sen. José Vargas Vidot and Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) Sen. Juan Dalmau, who is running for governor in the upcoming election.

"I am opposed to the appointment of Román because his [past work] does not qualify him to be the governor's successor in case of temporary or permanent vacancy. His poor performance in Public Security increased the country's insecurity. His poor investigation of the supply warehouse in Ponce generated outrage because it resulted in impunity for those responsible," said Dalmau.

The Senate Appointments Committee evaluated this morning the appointment of Román and its president, Sen. Héctor Martínez, anticipated that it would be confirmed in this afternoon's session.

Román has been acting as secretary of State since last December after Gov. Wanda Vázquez designated him during the legislative recess.

The Senate session continued this afternoon with the discussion of several legislative measures.

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