LUANDA (Reuters) – Angolan President Joao Lourenco has fired the country’s economic coordination minister and replaced him with the central bank governor in the wake of deadly protests over a reduction in a fuel subsidy.

The removal of Manuel Nunes Junior was announced by the presidency in a statement on Thursday.

It was not immediately clear who would succeed Jose de Lima Massano as central bank governor.

Last week’s fuel subsidy cut meant the gasoline price would almost double to 300 kwanzas ($0.4781) per litre from 160 kwanzas, although it would still be below the market rate.

Local media quoted Nunes Junior as saying last week that the move was aimed at reining in government spending.

Nunes Junior has held many prominent government positions for over two decades in Africa’s second-largest oil producer, including economy minister and deputy finance minister.

Police said on Monday five people had died and eight had been injured in protests that flared after the subsidy cut.

Since winning a second presidential term in August last year, Lourenco has pledged to continue reforms including privatising poorly-run state assets and cleaning up corruption.

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($1 = 627.5000 kwanzas)


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