Ecuador’s new President unveils cabinet

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Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa has unveiled his ministerial cabinet with the first official photo of his work team, three days after assuming power for a short 18-month term. The cabinet “is mostly made up of women and young people who head strategic departments of the State”, Xinhua news agency quoted a statement issued by the General Secretariat of Communication of the Presidency as saying on Sunday.

The president took the official photo wearing the presidential sash beside 24 ministers at Carondelet Palace, the seat of government, in the capital of Quito, it said. It said that Minister of Women and Human Rights, Arianna Tanca, and Minister of Telecommunications and Information Society, Cesar Martin Moreno, joined the cabinet by executive decree. In the coming days, Noboa will appoint Juan Carlos Vega as Minister of Economy and Finance, who has already been participating in government meetings with multilateral organisations.

Noboa will finish the mandate of his predecessor, Guillermo Lasso, who dissolved the National Assembly in May and gave way to early elections amid a political crisis. The 35-year-old former lawmaker and son of banana exporting magnate Alvaro Noboa has become the youngest president in the history of Ecuador. Noboa, from the National Democratic Action coalition, won the presidential runoff on October 15. According to the President, he has been gradually putting together his team to carry out a road map that will prioritise the reduction of criminal violence and poverty, and employment improvement.

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Once considered one of the safest countries in the region, Ecuador has seen violence explode in recent years driven by rival drug-trafficking groups. Bloodshed reached an unprecedented crescendo with the murder of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio. Drug violence has led to some 3,600 murders so far this year, reports the Ecuadorian Observatory of Organised Crime. Noboa has also said he will implement a state of emergency, suspend some citizen rights such as freedom of movement, and deploy the military to the streets.