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New energy regulators have been nominated, Mexico’s president says

Mexico City, Apr 4 (EFE).- Four new people have been nominated to the Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE), following the Senate’s decision to reject the previous nominees, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday.

“I sent the nominations last night. (It is) moving forward. And now the opposition says it’s going to appeal. That’s their right and the judicial branch will have to resolve it,” Lopez Obrador, the founder and leader of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena), said during his daily press conference at the National Palace.

On Wednesday, the Senate rejected Lopez Obrador’s slate of nominees for the four seats on the CRE for a second time, alleging that the individuals were not qualified to sit on the regulatory body.

After the Senate’s second rejection of his nominees, Lopez Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, was forced to select four new commissioners.

The president said Thursday that he had chosen Luis Linares, Norma Leticia Campos, Guadalupe Escalante and Jose Alberto Celestino, whom he described as “the best refiner” of crude oil, to sit on the CRE.

AMLO said these four nominees had garnered the most votes from senators.

The slate of nominees, however, was unable to win the two-thirds support of members of the upper house of Congress needed to be confirmed.

The Morena leader said the tussle with the Senate over the energy regulatory agency was a good example of democracy at work.

“It’s a good sign that the Senate rejected the appointments to the CRE. I’m very happy, (since) it shows that we are living in a new era. Something never before seen,” AMLO said, referring to the fact that presidential nominees had rarely been rejected twice by the upper house of Congress in the past.

Lopez Obrador said the current situation was quite a contrast to that seen during the administrations of former presidents, such as Enrique Peña Nieto and Vicente Fox.

“The executive branch is no longer the branch of branches. This is unprecedented, it’s the real rule of law,” Lopez Obrador said.

In other economic matters, AMLO said he planned to meet with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo to discuss the future of free trade.

“We support free trade and we’re not going to get involved in any trade wars, it doesn’t interest us and it doesn’t benefit us,” the Mexican leader said.

AMLO said he would try to boost the domestic market while complying with existing trade agreements and regulatory bodies.

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