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Lasso reshuffles his government after Sunday's electoral defeat


Five ministers resign their portfolios after the triumph of the left in the main cities and provinces of the country

The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, in a press conference. Markus Schreiber (AP)

The electoral defeat of the ruling party last Sunday in the local elections and the popular consultation has caused the first casualties in the Government of Guillermo Lasso.

Through Twitter, this Thursday the Minister of Government, Francisco Jiménez, the presidential adviser, Aparicio Caicedo, and the legal secretary of the Presidency, Fabián Pozo, confirmed his departure.

To these were added two other names that were known in the afternoon at the inauguration ceremony of the new ministers, one of them is from the closest environment of the president, the Secretary of Public Administration, Iván Correa, and the Secretary of Management of Peoples and Nationalities, Gretty Vargas.

The governors of four strategic provinces were also renewed where the opponents of the Government, from movements of the left, achieved mayoralties and prefectures.

"When the people speak, it is the duty of the rulers to analyze, understand and accept it," Lasso admitted on Monday, acknowledging his defeat in the referendum with which he was trying to measure his popular support.

More than 50% of the population voted no, including the main question on opening the constitutional lock on extradition for transnational crimes, the only one on security and which was the motivation to call a referendum.

Former Minister Jiménez was considered one of the key pieces of the Lasso government, being the one who led the dialogue tables with the indigenous movements after the social protests that paralyzed the country for 18 days in June 2022. He was also in charge of building bridges with Congress, which is the main opposition front of the Government.

In his resignation letter, he assured that "it is not easy to lead a country where political adversaries always wait crouching to deliver a coup."

Presidential adviser Aparicio Caicedo was one of the president's closest collaborators since before he came to power.

"I think my mission in this position has been exhausted," he said on Twitter, although he assured that he will continue to support "the project of a free and prosperous country, but from another trench."

A similar farewell was made by the legal secretary of the presidency, Fabián Pozo, who was in charge of giving legal form to the eight questions proposed in the popular consultation.

Pozo assured that "Ecuador has already changed" and that the reforms that have been achieved in the last two years "will allow the next generations to live in a better country."

One of the most sensitive casualties is that of Iván Correa, whom the president has known since his duties as a banker and has been his friend for more than 30 years.

Correa was the head of the presidential campaign that brought Lasso to power, "he has been my first accomplice of this dream," the president introduced him when he appointed him Secretary of Public Administration.

This first great remodeling of the Government occurs days after the local elections in which the left and the party of former President Rafael Correa prevailed in the main cities and provinces of the country, such as Quito and Guayaquil.

The latter had been governed for 31 years by the right wing of the Christian Social Party.

In the referendum he did not get the support of the population either, who rejected the eight questions with more than 55%.

The president's immediate response was to summon the entire leadership of the political parties to "build a great national agreement", but the call has not had a positive response and the parties have distanced themselves from making pacts with the Government.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-02-10

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