Ecuador’s Lasso Reshuffles Cabinet Following Lack of Support for Plebiscite Proposals

President Guillermo Lasso has replaced his interior minister following the resignation of Francisco Jiménez and after the adverse results of a referendum that he called “a wake-up call for the government”

Lasso presented the new members of his team on Thursday night.
February 10, 2023 | 10:22 AM

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Bloomberg Línea — Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso has announced changes to his cabinet following the government’s failure to gain support for eight key proposals put to the country in a plebiscite held last Sunday.

The rejection of the eight questions contained in the consultation on February 5 sparked a crisis in Lasso’s cabinet, and which culminated with Interior Minister Francisco Jiménez resigning on Thursday.

The plebiscite posed eight questions on key issues, and which, if approved by the majority, would have been incorporated into the Constitution, and related to citizens’ safety, the strengthening of democracy, and protection of the environment.

Questions also included whether citizens approved of a proposed reduction in the number of legislators, the extradition of Ecuadorians who have committed organized crime, and the reduction of powers of the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control.


After the results of the vote were counted, Lasso admitted on Monday that the adverse results were “a wake-up call for the government”, and called for national agreement to solve the demands of Ecuadorians, while the results of the plebiscite were seen as having been a show of support for the country’s opposition parties.

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Lasso said in a televised address that, beyond the results, citizens yearn for a better country with more security, better education and health, more and better jobs, and better salaries.

“What happened on Sunday was a wake-up call from the people to the government and we will not shirk that responsibility,” Lasso said.


Following the results of the plebiscite, Lasso announced a series of changes to his team, replacing advisors and governors, among other positions, describing the renewal in a tweet as part of “the spirit of national understanding”.

Henry Cucalón was announced as the new interior minister, and Sebastián Corral was named secretary general of government.

“This change of authorities is made in order to strengthen the institution and with the commitment to serve and connect with Ecuadorians,” Lasso said. “We have listened to [Ecuadorians] and we will implement actions and projects for the advancement of the country.”

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The new appointees include Jorge Córdova as secretary of Indigenous peoples, who replaces Gretty Vargas Sánchez, and Sebastián Corral as secretary of public administration, who replaces Iván Correa.

New provincial governors are, of Guayas, Francesco Tabacchi; Tania Vásquez, who is the new governor of Cotopaxi; Eusebio Apolo, who is the new governor of El Oro, while Frickson Erazo takes over as governor of Esmeraldas.

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