"The National Secretariat of Communication informs that the President of the Republic, Lenin Moreno Garces, has requested the resignation of the entire ministerial cabinet," National Secretariat of Communication (Secom) announced through a statement published Thursday at 11 p.m., 30 minutes after Education Minister Fander Falconi denounced budget cuts in education.
"By cutting funds for education, the whole of society is attacked, especially children and teenagers. The worst thing is that is destroyed the future of the country," Falconi, who headed the development secretariat and the foreign affairs ministry during the government of Rafael Correa, tweeted.
After Moreno's request, Falconi announced his resignation. "Because I don't believe in the cuts to public education in the 2019 national budget, I retire from these important tasks. May history has the last say." The 2019 budget includes a reduction in the budget for education of US$419 million.
On Nov. 12, the Ecuadorean government announced adjustments to the new budget, which included a reduction in the budget for higher education of US$145.1 million, prompting protests by university students. The government has decided to backtrack on the cut to public universities but the National Assembly has yet to include this new agreement in the proposal.
The budget is currently in the legislative, which needs to approve or modify the executive's proposal by the end of November.
According to the press release, Moreno intends to carry out "an evaluation process during the last weeks of the year 2018", about which he will inform the public "opportunely".
This is the second time this year Moreno asks for the resignation of his ministers. After the last evaluation, a couple of members of the ministerial council were replaced.
Moreno came to power in May 2017 and has since replaced or lost over 60 percent of his ministers, national secretaries, and advisors.