Mexican president backs referendum on electing Supreme Court justices

Mexico's Supreme Court elects a new president in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's president on Wednesday backed a proposal to hold a national vote on whether Supreme Court justices should be chosen by citizens, the latest move in the leader's push to reshape an institution he considers "rotten."

Mexico's Supreme Court justices are currently approved by the senate with a two-thirds majority from a shortlist selected by the president, and they serve terms of 15 years.

"I hope the vote happens, that the question goes to the people," President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in his daily news conference when asked about the possibility, which his party has said they want Congress to vote on.

Approval in a referendum would lend support for changing the constitution to create a system of citizen-elected Supreme Court justices, something the president said last week he would seek before leaving office in 2024.

The president, who has often clashed with Mexico's judiciary and just last week had parts of his electoral reform struck down, has long supported sending contentious issues to referendums, including whether to suspend construction of an airport in Mexico City.

(Reporting by Raul Cortes Fernandez; Editing by David Gregorio)