Mexico's Supreme Court elects Norma Lucia Pina as first female president

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Mexico City: Mexico’s Supreme Court on Monday elected Norma Lucia Pina as the first female chief justice in its history amid controversy over plagiarism allegations against a rival candidate.

Following a six-to-five vote on Monday, Justice Norma Lucia Pina was sworn in for a four-year term as president of the court. She pledged to maintain the independence of the country’s highest court.

“Judicial independence is indispensable in resolving conflicts between the branches of government,” Piña said Monday in laying out her plans. “My main proposal is to work to build majorities, leaving aside my personal vision.”

With 34 years of experience in the Federal Judiciary (PJF), Justice Norma outnumbered four candidates and she received six votes against five for Minister Alfredo Gutierrez Ortiz Mena.

Pina’s election could bring the court into clash with the administration of Mexico’s left-wing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, with whom Pina had disagreements in the past over matters like energy policy.

The election to replace Arturo Zaldivar was shaken by accusations that Supreme Court justice Yasmin Esquivel, another hopeful for the post, plagiarized her graduation thesis in 1987.

Mexico’s Supreme Court holds elections for a new president every four years. With outgoing Chief Justice Arturo Zaldivar set to finish his term, Lopez Obrador had thrown his weight behind another justice, Yasmin Esquivel, in the hope of seeing a more sympathetic leader elected to lead the Supreme Court.

Earlier in October, the international dispute led to the resignation of Mexico’s economy minister , amid fears that the complaint could result in Mexico facing punitive tariffs.

With inputs from agencies

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Mexico's Supreme Court elects Norma Lucia Pina as first female president
Mexico's Supreme Court elects Norma Lucia Pina as first female president
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