Head of Mexico’s Supreme Court refuses term extension proposed by president Lopez Obrador

FILE PHOTO: Supreme Court judge Arturo Zaldivar Lelo de Larrea attends a meeting at Supreme Court building in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The head of Mexico’s Supreme Court said on Friday, August 6th, he would conclude his term as planned at the end of next year, despite a decision by the ruling party to extend it by nearly two years that sparked political controversy.

Supreme Court President Arturo Zaldivar told a news conference he would end his term on Dec. 31, 2022, apparently ending a charged discussion over whether he could stay on until Nov. 30, 2024, as the congressional modification foresaw.

“I’m not here to hold office, for posts, nor privileges, I’m in the Supreme Court to uphold values, principles and convictions,” said Zaldivar, who had previously indicated he would await the opinion of the court on an extension.- ADVERTISEMENT -https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-8-0/html/r-sf-flx.html

The decision in April to extend his term stirred concern among the opposition and other critics of the government that the move could open the door to allowing other high office holders, including the president, keep their jobs for longer.

Under the constitution, the Mexican president may serve only a single term of six years, and the current office holder, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has repeatedly said he has no intention of trying to prolong his time in power.

Nevertheless, Lopez Obrador, who has been a sharp critic of Mexican courts, had backed the decision to extend Zaldivar’s term, arguing he should be kept on to oversee the government’s reform of a judiciary the president regards as corrupt and opposed to him.

The prolongation of Zaldivar’s term was included belatedly by Congress as part of that package of reforms.

Source: Reuters