Cuban Electoral Commission Raises Participation Figure By More than Two and a Half Points

Alina Balseiro Gutiérrez, president of the CEN, confirmed that the 605 candidates for deputies to the National Assembly of People’s Power were elected. (

14ymedio bigger14ymedio/EFE, Havana, 19 March 2018 — On Monday, the National Electoral Commission (CEN) updated the general election data from March 11. In this new information the participation figure rises from 82.9% to 85.65%, although that number is still more than five points below that registered in the 2013 elections (90.88%).

This increase in the participation data is the result of the updating of the electoral roll, which was incrased to 8.63 million voters after adding the people included during the day of the elections.

Alina Balseiro Gutiérrez, president of the CEN, confirmed that the 605 candidates (for the 605 seats) for deputies to the National Assembly of People’s Power were elected, each of them receiving more than half of the valid votes in their districts in a process where the voters only choice was to ratify the candidates in their seats, (or not to vote at all or to nullify their ballot).

Raúl Castro was elected deputy with 98.77% of the votes in the municipality of the Second Front, in Santiago de Cuba; while the current vice president and possible successor in the presidency, Miguel Diaz-Canel, obtained 92.85% in his hometown, Santa Clara.

Of the ballots deposited in the polls 94.42% were declared valid, meeting the requirements established by the Law, a figure that the CEN classifies as “superior to that registered in the first stage of this process” and “also to the one obtained in the elections” of 2013.

Of all deputies, the person who received the highest percentages of votes after Castro was Alexis Estévez, from the Guantanamo municipality of Maisí, with 97.4% of valid votes in Santiago de Cuba, where he has been the first provincial secretary of the Communist Party since 2009.

Miguel Diaz-Canel achieved almost 93% of the votes in his district and is the strongest candidate to succeed Raúl Castro in the presidency of Cuba.

Also elected with a high percentage of votes, were other “historical” figures of the Revolution, including the second secretary of the PCC, José Ramón Machado Ventura, 87, with 92.86% of the vote in Guantanamo; and the 85-year-old vice-president and commander Ramiro Valdés, who achieved 90.7% of the votes in his native Artemisa.

Among the top results among those who do not come from the historical generation and whom appear to be on a trajectory to maintain a relevant role in the future Government, the best result, with 91.36% of the votes, was achieved by Mercedes López de Acea, first secretary of the PCC in Havana, a member of the political bureau of the Party and vice president of the Council of State.

Chancellor Bruno Rodríguez was elected with 81.9%; the president of the National Assembly, Esteban Lazo, with 88.6%; the minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, Leopoldo Cintra Frías, with 87.3%; and the Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, with 83%.

Mariano Murillo, vice-president, former minister of Economy and known as the “Tsar of reforms”, obtained a relatively low result, with 79.9% of the votes in the district of Plaza of the Revolution in Havana.

In that same district, the daughter of the president of Raúl Castro, the sexologist and director of the National Center for Sexual Education, Mariela Castro, was elected with 83.9% of the votes.

The historian of Old Havana, Eusebio Leal (a very beloved figure in that city because for decades he has been concerned with the restoration of the historic center of the capital) achieved 86.6% of the vote in his district.

Also elected to represent Old Havana was the deputy who achieved the lowest percentage of votes in the country, Isael Alfonso Graña, with 71.37%.


The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.