Ecuador president appoints Pablo Arosemena as economy minister

QUITO, July 5 (Reuters) - Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso on Tuesday appointed Pablo Arosemena, governor of Ecuador's Guayas province, as the Andean country's new minister of economy and finances, following the resignation of Simon Cueva, while also naming new ministers for transport, and urban development and housing.

The appointments came hours after Lasso accepted Cueva's resignation, as well as those of former Health Minister Ximena Garzon and former Transport Minister Marcelo Cabrera.

The changes follow a deal signed between the government and indigenous leaders to end demonstrations across the country last week. read more

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Protests erupted on June 13 and ran for more than a fortnight as demonstrators demanded lower fuel prices and an end to further expansion of the oil and mining industries. The protests led to at least eight deaths and severely impacted Ecuador's oil industry, the country's main source of income.

Lasso denied the appointments were connected to the protests.

"These changes haven't been forced by situations or particular circumstances. On the contrary, they are due to the orderly fulfillment of stages within a coherent and long-term vision," Lasso said at a press conference.

As well as appointing Arosemena as economy minister, Lasso named Dario Vicente Herrera as Ecuador's next transport minister.

Herrera, who is leaving behind his role as minister of urban development and housing, will be replaced by Maria Gabriela Aguilera.

Lasso did not name a new health minister.

Ecuador's secretary for higher education, science, technology and innovation, Alejandro Ribadeneira, also resigned on Tuesday. He will be replaced by Andrea Montalvo, Lasso said.

Though the resignations were officially announced on Tuesday morning, Ecuador's secretary of public administration, Ivan Correa, disclosed Cueva's impending departure during an interview with local television outlet Teleamazonas on Monday, adding that other changes would also be coming.

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Reporting by Yury Garcia; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Leslie Adler

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