14ymedio, Havana, 30 June 2017 — The swearing in, today, of the National Nominating Commission (CCN) before the National Electoral Commission is a decisive step that makes it clear that the upcoming elections will be held under the provisions the electoral law of 1992 and not by the new legislation promised by Raúl Castro in 2015.
The Commission, composed of six “mass organizations,” is responsible for preparing the proposals for who will be members of the Provincial Assemblies, the National Assembly of People’s Power, and the Council of State, including its president. The existence of this entity has been one of the most criticized points of the current electoral law because it is believed that it hijacks the popular will to elect the president of the nation.
On this occasion the method of prefabricating a list of candidates is more sensitive because it is expected that at the conclusion of the February 2018 elections the country will have a new president whose most peculiar characteristic will be not carrying the surname Castro.
Article 68 of Law 72 states that “The Nominating Commissions are composed of representatives of the Cuban Workers Center (CTC), the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP), the Federation of University Students (FEU) and of the Federation of High School Students (FEEM), designated by the respective national, provincial and municipal administrations.”
The members of these organizations, presided over by the engineer Gisela María Duarte, representing the CTC, took office on Friday and made a solemn oath of loyalty to the Constitution of the Republic.
The ceremony was presided over by the secretary of the State Council, Homero Acosta, who said that the representatives of these organizations “protect as a part of civil society the interests of the entire nation, the interests of the country, thinking of the commitments and the responsibility of those you will propose at the appropriate moment.”
The electoral process will begin this coming October 22 and 12,515 constituency delegates will be elected. From this group, the Nominations Commission will choose half of the candidates to the National Assembly of People’s Power, but this phase of the elections, where the candidates for the Provincial Assemblies will also be known, does not yet have a definite date.
Cuba’s current National Assembly is composed of 612 deputies representing the country’s 168 municipalities and is elected every five years.