Ecuador protests push government out of capital

Thick clouds of tear gas engulfed Ecuador's capital, as protest anger soared across the country.

Thousands of demonstrators swarmed the National Assembly on Tuesday (October 8).

Some briefly entering the legislature - waving flags, and chanting the people, united, will never be defeated.

A curfew has now been imposed around government buildings, but days of violent protests have already forced the government out of Quito, to a coastal town that's seen less trouble.

Scenes like this have toppled previous governments in Ecuador.

It's the biggest challenge to President Moreno's two-and-a-half year rule.

The government's decision to cut fuel subsidies last week ignited the unrest.

Moreno has said the measure was necessary to rein in an immense fiscal deficit, inherited from his leftist predecessor - who he accuses of seeking a coup - with the help of Venezuela's President Maduro.

A claim they both deny.

Protesters here are demanding Moreno step down - saying they're urgently seeking a new president.

Moreno responded Tuesday night - saying under no circumstance will he resign - for making, what he called, the right decisions for the country.

The cuts are part of a multi-billion dollar loan deal with the International Monetary Fund.

And the government has said it's open to mediation from the United Nations or the Catholic Church - to quell the worst unrest the country has seen in years.