The Mexican President appoints the country’s first female central bank governor.

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The Mexican President appoints the country’s first female central bank governor.

On Wednesday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador named Victoria Rodriguez, the deputy finance minister, as the next governor of the Bank of Mexico, making her the first woman to lead the central bank.

The news came a day after former Finance Minister Arturo Herrera announced Lopez Obrador’s withdrawal from the race, causing financial markets to tremble.

“For the first time, a woman will lead the Bank of Mexico,” Lopez Obrador told reporters, adding that the nomination, which still needs Senate approval, was part of an attempt to promote gender equality.

Rodriguez “has operated with tremendous care as deputy finance minister so as not to spend only to spend,” claimed the pro-austerity president.

The U-turn comes as Mexico grapples with growing inflation, prompting the central bank to hike its benchmark interest rate to 5.0 percent for the fourth time in a row.

Mexico, like many other countries, is dealing with increased energy and raw material costs, as well as global supply chain bottlenecks as pandemic-affected economies reopen.

Inflation in Mexico hit 6.24 percent in the year to October, more than double the central bank’s objective of roughly three percent and the highest level in nearly four years.

The unexpected withdrawal of Herrera’s nomination, according to Gabriela Siller, head of analysis for the financial group BASE, “creates uncertainty” and may raise issues about the Bank of Mexico’s autonomy.

Lopez Obrador promised to protect the central bank’s independence, hailing Rodriguez as a “responsible” individual who will “follow the rules.”

In May, the president said he would not ask central bank governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon to stay on through the end of the year, instead appointing an economist with a “social dimension” to take his place.

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