Cuba votes for a new National Assembly on Sunday, March 11 a key step in a process leading to the election of a new president, the first in nearly 60 years from outside the Castro family. The new members of the National Assembly will be tasked with choosing a successor to 86-year-old President Raul Castro when he steps down next month. Raul took over in 2006 from his ailing brother Fidel, who had governed since seizing power during the 1959 revolution. Eight million Cubans are expected to turn out to ratify 605 candidates for an equal number of seats in the Assembly, a process shorn of suspense and unique to the Communist-run Caribbean island nation.
Last details are being set up in Cuba ahead of the election on Nov. 26 for the People’s Power Assembly seats, after the electoral commission organized a trial run of the election or voter. Among the activities are reviewing voter lists, checking updated electoral manuals, testing lines of communication, and reviewing responsibilities for electoral board members. Cubans will choose representatives from over 27,000 candidates that will compete for 605 assembly seats.
Communist-run Cuba said on Wednesday it was calling for municipal elections on Oct. 22, kicking off the electoral procedure that should lead to the handover of power from Raul Castro to the next president. The ruling Communist Party newspaper Granma said the date for provincial and national assembly elections would be published “at the corresponding time.” The electoral notice coincides with a period of uncertainty for Cuba. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce his Cuba policy on Friday, rolling back parts of former President Barack Obama’s opening to the island, which included restoration of relations and reopening of embassies in a diplomatic breakthrough between Cold War foes.
Cubans voted Sunday in local elections featuring two opposition candidates who could become the island’s first non-Communist elected officials in decades. Political dissidents Hildebrando Chaviano, a 65-year old lawyer and independent journalist, and Yuniel Lopez, a 26-year old computer scientist, have already made history by surviving the first round of balloting and making it to the final vote. Chaviano and Lopez would be the first officials elected from outside the Communist Party since Cuba’s electoral law was put in place under former president Fidel Castro in 1976. They are the only two non-Communist candidates among 30,000 people running for local office in Sunday’s elections.
Two dissident candidates conceded defeat Sunday in Cuban local elections that offered them a chance to become the first officials elected from outside the Communist Party in 40 years. Hildebrando Chaviano and Yuniel Lopez had been chosen as candidates by a show of hands in Havana neighborhood nominating meetings and hoped to win two of the 12,589 seats at stake in 168 municipal councils. Both acknowledged they had no chance of winning after preliminary results showed Chaviano in last place of four candidates and one of Lopez’s pro-government opponent with twice his vote. Chaviano, 65, is a government attorney-turned-independent journalist and Lopez, 26, is an unemployed member of a dissident political party.
The Cuban government called today for regularly schedule elections on April 19th for local delegates, the part of the process of electing municipal authorities where the population is allowed to participate, reported dpa news. In any voting district where no candidate receives 50% of the valid votes cast a runoff among the top two vote getters will take place a week later on April 26. The island has approximately eight million voters in a population of a little over 11 million people. The local delegates are elected for a period of two and a half years.
Yesterday there were general elections in Cuba. Even without knowing the outcome, I think there was something interesting in them that we should pay attention to and that indicates the erosion of Cuba’s totalitarian system. The Cuban political elite have always aspired to everything. “Within the revolution, everything; against the revolution, nothing,” goes their old slogan, still parroted by some hardliners. They aspired to complete control over the economy, culture, ideology and politics. They hoped to make their population march to the orders always invoked by the Comandante, and where children modeled themselves not after their parents, but after Che. They aspired not only to have no opposition, but to achieve complete alignment. They wanted not only bodies, but also souls. This is why they were totalitarian. They were able to do this, with some Cubans emigrating and others pretending to tow the line. In this, they counted on three factors: a decisive segment of the population that accepted subordination, a strong leadership that interpreted itself as having the correctness of thunder, and an undisputed monopoly on the economy, social mobility and ideological production.
Cuba: Cubans vote on new legislature; president, parliament chief to be picked later this month | The Washington Post
Millions of Cubans voted Sunday for parliamentary candidates in elections critics say are closed and offer no real competition, but that the government defends as grass-roots democracy. The elected unicameral legislature will convene Feb. 24 and pick a new parliament chief for the first time in two decades, with the body’s longtime leader, Ricardo Alarcon, not on the ballot. Voting began last October with municipal elections. Term limits do not exist in Cuba, but on various occasions Castro has proposed limiting public officials including the president to two consecutive periods in office. Government critics call Cuban elections perfunctory, noting that only the Communist Party is permitted on the island and only one approved candidate is on the ballot for each seat in parliament. Castro and his older brother Fidel, now retired, have headed up the government for five decades.
On February 3, over eight million Cubans will elect 612 parliament deputies and 1 269 delegates to provincial governments for a five-year term and by means of free, secret and direct vote. Once the deputies are elected, they will have a 45-day period of time to meet at a place and time to be decided by the Cuban Council of State in order to set up the National Assembly of People’s Power (Cuban Parliament), according to Granma daily newspaper.
The 612 deputies to Cuban Parliament, and the 1 269 delegates to the provincial assemblies of the People’s Power will be elected next February 3rd.
Cuban authorities work in the preparations for the election next February to choose the 612 deputies to Parliament, said the president of the National Electoral Commission (CEN), Alina Balseiro. In statements to Prensa Latina, the civil employee emphasized that 89 electoral districts were created, organizations destined to obtain fairness in the number of voters, being considered the difference of inhabitants between the 168 municipalities in the country. The districts can arise in municipalities where the population exceeds the 100,000 residents, said Balseiro regarding to the election in the ballot boxes, from which the 1,269 delegates will come in addition to the provincial assemblies to the Popular Power.
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s political career may go on for a while, at least symbolically, even though he no longer holds the country’s top political positions. He is still a member of the National Assembly and on Sunday was nominated for another term, despite not having attended any regular sessions during the current legislature and the fact that he is rarely seen or heard from anymore. Elections for a single slate of deputies for the single chamber legislature are held every five years, with the candidates nominated by municipal governments after selection by commissions. The election is scheduled for February 3, 2013.