Cuba Nominates Candidates for Parliament Who Will Elect Castro’s Replacement

This video, unsubtitled, is of Miguel Diaz-Canel, Cuba’s first vice-president. The text before the video begins reads: “More censorship and fewer entrepreneurs is the message Miguel Diaz-Canel delivered to Party cadres last February at special conference.”

14ymedio biggerEFE via 14ymedio, Havana, 22 January 2018 — On Sunday, the 168 Municipal Assemblies of Cuba’s People’s Power nominated their candidates for the National Parliament. The candidates will be elected in the March 11th general elections and will be responsible for choosing the new president that will replace Raúl Castro.

Raúl Castro, 86, was nominated to be a deputy to the 2018 National Assembly of People’s Power by delegates of the Second Front Municipal Assembly, in the province of Santiago de Cuba, the official press reported.

Also nominated as a candidate to parliament, in the Santa Clara Municipal Assembly, was current first vice-president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, who is predicted to rise to the presidency of Cuba this coming April, when the new Parliament is constituted.

At the Santa Clara meeting Diaz-Canel, 57, emphasized the high numbers of young people in this electoral process and said that among the nominees there is a “perfect” social composition, including a similar share of men and women, candidates of all races, as well as people of all ages.

“There is a certainty that they will represent their constituents with dignity, since the people choose them because of their ability to defenthe common interests in higher instances,” he said.

On the same day, also approved were the candidacies of the 1,265 delegates of the Provincial Assemblies of People’s Power, who will also be elected at the polls on March 11th for a period of five years, like the national deputies.

The Cuban Electoral Law establishes that up to 50% of national deputies can be nominated to participate in elections by municipal delegates, while the rest of the members of Parliament are proposed by social organizations, all of them pro-government.

To be approved, candidates for deputy must receive more than half of the favorable votes from the delegates of their constituency.

According to the electoral timetable, between Monday and March 10, the eve of the elections, the nominees will visit their communities, workplaces and service centers, while the municipal electoral commissions will post their photos and biographies so that they will be recognized by the population.

The electoral process that will culminate in the replacement of Raúl Castro began on November 26 with the holding of municipal elections, in which about 7.6 million people voted, a participation rate of just under 86%*.

The new Parliament that emerges from the March elections will be officially seated on April 19, when the deputies must propose and elect the primary positions of the incoming government, including the president of the country who, for the first time in almost six decades, will not carry the surname Castro.

The Cuban electoral law establishes that the members of the Council of State are elected from a proposal prepared by a Nominations Commission, made up by deputies elected in the general elections, which is then put to a vote in the Parliament.

*Translator’s note: A record low rate in a country where voting is mandatory.


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