On Friday, the governor of New York State refused to resign again, despite the flood of calls in this sense, especially from heavyweights from his Democratic camp, after several accusations of sexual harassment and groping against him.
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“I will not quit,” declared Andrew Cuomo during a press phone call, confirming, as last week, “not doing” the things that six women have accused him of in a row, since the end of February.
But, hours after his remarks, calls to resign multiplied: the powerful leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, elected from New York State, in turn considered that Mr. Cuomo “had lost the confidence of his partners in the government.” And the New Yorkers “and was to resign,” in a statement. Shared with the state’s other Senator, Kirsten Gillebrand.
Testimonies emerged from two new women expressing dissatisfaction with the governor’s behavior, saying it was inappropriate.
Within two weeks, the downfall of this 63-year-old governor, who was widely regarded as a hero in fighting the pandemic in 2020 and who had subsequently been pushed by some to run for the White House, was staggering.
He, who has been running New York state for 10 years, called again on Friday not to be convicted now, and to “wait for the facts” – in other words, the results of the announced investigations into the allegations.
True to his reputation as a tough man, he vigorously defended himself, asserting that the allegations against him were “false” and indicating that he was a new victim of the “culture of annulment” raging in the United States.
This movement, mocked by many Republicans, is pushing for a withdrawal from the public sphere of businesses or personalities sentenced for offending or discriminating against sexual or ethnic minorities.
Politicians take positions for all kinds of reasons, including political opportunism or submission to pressure. But he declared that people know the difference between a political game and a “culture of annulment” and the truth.
The governor, whose third term does not expire until 2022, gave the impression that he would do anything to avoid resigning and continuing to rule New York state. Unlike other power men (Donald Trump is the notorious exception in particular) who tossed the towel after accusations of harassment or sexual assault, before the results of any investigation.
Can he withstand the pressure that has been building every hour since Wednesday? On that day, a sixth woman, one of his employees, made the most serious accusations so far, accusing her of putting her hand under her shirt at the end of 2020, at her official residence.
Two new women joined the top six on Friday. A former journalist accused him of covering the governor with inappropriate gestures, especially in 2012 and 2014, that she said aimed to humiliate him. Another former governor, identified by first name only Caitlin, said of New York Magazine How he made her uncomfortable.
Since Wednesday, the majority-elected Democrats in the New York Parliament have been growing in numbers already to demand his resignation.
On Thursday, they got an investigation into all the allegations by a parliamentary committee, the first step in a possible impeachment measure. This investigation is in addition to the one already initiated by Attorney General Letitia James.
Friday morning, it was the turn of influential Democratic elected officials from New York in the House of Representatives to demand the departure of the governor, including left-wing superstar Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and veteran Manhattan actor Jerry Nadler.
Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillebrand seemed nearly the last to not ask for his resignation.
That is now done, making the situation nearly impossible for Mr. Cuomo, even if he continues to ensure that he can continue to rule while awaiting the results of the allegations investigations.
“Nobody wants it to be done so comprehensively and quickly as I do,” Andrew Cuomo said Friday.
If he continues to cling, only the isolation measure appears to be able to force him to leave against his will.
Such a measure, unprecedented in New York state since 1913, would require a simple majority in the House of Representatives and two-thirds in the Senate.