Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rossello announced he will step down after the mass protests against him on the Caribbean island. Rossello, 40, announced his resignation late Wednesday night saying, that he would step down on Aug. 2.

He had earlier tried to calm the protestors by resigning as president of his political party and vowing not to seek re-election in the 2020 Puerto Rico elections.

The chat scandal, also known as ‘Telegramgate,' which embroiled the Rosello's administration was the catalyst for the huge public uprising. It began with the leaking of hundreds of pages of a group chat involving Rossello and his staff members from a popular messaging application. According to Reuters, the chats made profane statements toward female political opponents and singer Ricky Martin, and their leakage helped bring to boil the simmering popular resentment against the island’s political elite.

The sometimes violent demonstrations drew out almost 500,000 people and went on for 12 days. Protestors also shut down an 11-lane San Juan highway on June 22.

Many of Rossello’s staff members, including the Secretary of State who ideally should have succeeded him as governor, had to resign in the wake of the scandal. Pressure further mounted on Rossello when the Puerto Rico legislature announced that it will begin impeachment proceedings if he refused to resign.

As per the commonwealth’s constitution, Rossello will be succeeded at the moment by secretary of justice Wanda Vazquez. Vazquez, 59, a former district attorney, had once headed the office of women’s affairs in the island.

In a statement, Vazquez said that Rossello had made the right decision in stepping down, for the good of both his family and for Puerto Rico. She added that she would be working closely with Rossello on a transition process and would be ready to assume post once Rossello steps down.

The governor, however, did leave open the possibility of a new successor by the time he steps down. The appointment and confirmation of a new secretary of state can result in that person succeeding Rossello.

Puerto Rico A Puerto Rican flag flies from a building a day after the speech Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla gave regarding the government's $72 billion debt in San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 30, 2015. Photo: Getty Images/Joe Raedle

According to a report from The New York Times, San Juan’s historic Old city was packed with protestors awaiting the announcement. They fell silent as Rossello’s message was aired, listing the accomplishments of his government, which included fighting corruption, passing a balanced budget, creating new industries and promoting equal pay for women. He hoped the resignation would serve as a call to citizen reconciliation.

As soon as he announced his resignation, the crowd erupted and there was thunderous applause. “I feel that to continue in this position would make it difficult for the success that I have achieved to endure,” Rosselló said in his address. Thousands of young Puerto Ricans danced on the streets of old city, waved flags, lit fireworks and chanted “Ole!, Ole!” They believed that this decision was historic and revelled in it.