Cuba Will Have a New President Thursday

Havana, Apr 19 (Prensa Latina) The National Candidacy Commission (NCC) of the Cuban Assembly is announcing Thursday the results of the parliamentary election Wednesday in which the 605 members of the legislative house voted to whether ratify Miguel Diaz Canel as the nation’s president.

By direct and secret balloting the lawmakers also decided on whether Salvador Valdes Mesa will be Cuba’s First Vice President for the next five years.

The NCC nominated Diaz-Canel, incumbent first vice president of the Council of State, after the 57-year-old’s name was proposed by the 605 Parliament lawmakers to head the country.

‘Diaz-Canel has a rich political career aligned with the generation born after the triumph of 1959 and has been growing with the revolution since he became a student leader,’ Gisela Duarte, the NCC President, said while proposing his name.

When she finally announced Diaz-Canel’s name, he received a standing ovation and a hug from outgoing President Raul Castro.

Valdes Mesa, 72, a sitting vice president and member of the Politburo, was nominated as the new First Vice President.

The NCC also put to a vote revolution’s historical commander Ramiro Valdes and Gladys Bejerano, nominated for a second term, and three new faces including sitting Health Minister Roberto Morales. The other two proposed to vice presidential posts are Ines Maria Chapman y Beatriz Johnson.

The legislators also voted for another 24 political figures to complete the 31-member Council of State, the government’s highest body.

Among them stand out Defense Minister Leopoldo Cintra Frias, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, Cuban Young Communist League leader Susely Morfa, and Cuban Workers’ Federation leader Ulises Guilarte.

With the changes, the average age of the Cuban leadership will be 54 years as 77 percent of the proposed candidates were born after the triumph of the revolution in 1959. Also, women make up 48 percent of the Council of State.

Though Raul Castro was elected a lawmaker, he won’t be part of the Council of State but he will remain as the secretary general of the Cuban Communist Party.

The 9th Legislature of the Cuban Assembly was inaugurated Wednesday starting with the oath taking by the 605 legislators who had been elected March 11 last in an election day in which over 7.400.000 voters came to the polls for a 86 percent turnout.

Of the 605 legislators who represent diverse sectors of society, 338 have been elected for the first time and 148 have served for one term.

More than half of the MPs are women (53.2 percent), black and colored people make up 40.5 percent of the house, while 13.2 percent is under 35 years, 86 percent is university graduate, 77 percent was born after the triumph of the revolution in 1959 and as whole the average age of the membership is 49 years.

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