November 12, 2019 / 4:24 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Ecuador oil minister resigns weeks after scrapped fuel price hike

(Recasts first sentence, adds comment by minister, background on recent protests)

QUITO, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Ecuadorean Oil Minister Carlos Perez on Tuesday announced his resignation in what he called a personal decision to spend more time with his family, weeks after the country was rocked by violent protests over a planned fuel price hike.

President Lenin Moreno in October rolled back a plan to eliminate costly fuel subsidies as part of an International Monetary Fund financing package after indigenous groups clashed with troops and demanded Moreno’s resignation.

“Today I am leaving after having spent two and a half years in this post,” Perez, who also oversees the energy and mining sectors, told a news conference.

It was not immediately evident who would replace him.

Moreno has maintained discussions with indigenous leaders who led the protests to determine how to close a fiscal gap without the drastic fuel price increases that sparked the October unrest.

He has not yet announced concrete plans for how to shore up government finances. (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia in Quito Writing by Brian Ellsworth Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis)

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