March 20, 2010 / 6:08 PM / in 9 years

Ecuador's Correa looks to reshuffle cabinet

QUITO, March 20 (Reuters) - Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa on Saturday asked his cabinet and top officials to hand in their resignations as part of a government reshuffle after acknowledging slow progress on some government projects.

Correa, a left-leaning former economy minister who first came to office in 2007, said the resignations would allow him to replace some officials, but he did not provide any details on the cabinet changes he planned.

“We’ve decided to carry out what are called crisis measures in the cabinet, that means asking all ministers and top officials to resign ... so the president can have the freedom to replace those he sees necessary,” Correa said.

Correa admitted there were delays in agrarian reform to help impoverished rural residents and in negotiations with foreign oil companies to rework their contracts.

Ecuador is in talks with oil operators to convert to service contracts to give the state more revenue from its oil. But negotiations have dragged past several deadlines as the parties failed to agree on terms.

Reporting by Alexandra Valencia, Writing by Patrick Markey in Bogota, Editing by Eric Beech

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