To be selected in the upcoming second stage of Cuban elections are 605 deputies and members of Cuba’s Council of State, including its President and Vice President
Jan 19 (Granma) As a genuine expression of democracy, the first stage of Cuba’s general elections 2017-2018 concluded, this past December 17, with the constitution of 168 Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power, composed of more than 12,000 delegates, elected directly and secretly by the population, who participated in a first and second round vote November 26 and December 3, respectively. These local government bodies will serve for a term of two and a half years.
Without a doubt, these were intense days. The entire people, at the same time as they faced a difficult recovery from damage caused by Hurricane Irma, massively and democratically expressed their will at the polls, in a turnout of 89%, sending a clear and unequivocal message of support for the Revolution, Fidel, Raúl, and socialism.
The Council of State, in accordance with its Constitutional authority, established March 11 of the current year as the date of elections for delegates to Provincial Assemblies of People’s Power and deputies to the National Assembly of People’s Power, for five year terms.
In this context, Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power will meet on January 21, in an extraordinary session to conduct the nomination of candidates for the positions of Provincial delegate and National Assembly deputy.
On April 19, the new legislature will be constituted and its President and Vice President elected, as well as members of the Council of State, including its President and Vice President.
For their part, candidature commissions – composed of representatives from Cuban civil society, including the Federation of Cuban Workers, Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, Federation of Cuban Women, student organizations, and the National Association of Small Farmers – are preparing nominations for this second stage, which should be just as successful as the first.
These mass organizations held 970 plenary sessions, from which a total of 12,640 proposed nominations emerged, which must be carefully considered before the 605 individuals to be nominated as deputies to the next National Assembly are selected.
This is an extensive task, since it is not only a matter of identifying the best, but also ensuring a true, quality representation of the entire society, in the group of nominees as a whole, in a process that involves the country’s 15 provinces and 168 municipalities.
As part of the effort to prepare for the second stage, the commissions interview pre-candidates and create biographies that will later be made available to the population, which will again exercise its right to vote.
In Cuba, candidates at different levels do not conduct election campaigns. Voting is direct and secret, while young students safeguard ballot boxes. All Cuban citizens have the right to elect, and be elected in accordance with their personal merits and abilities.