Final Figures Reduce Abstentions in the Referendum From 15.6% to Less Than 9%

The president of the National Electoral Commission on TV yesterday reporting the final results

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Havana, 1 March 2019 — On Thursday, the National Electoral Commission of Cuba (CEN) announced the final results of the referendum in which the new Constitution was ratified, which did not include important changes with respect to the provisional data already published, although it drastically changed the count with respect to that issued on Monday.

In the final data offered, the participation rate changed to 90.15% from the 84.4% provisionally announced one day after the vote, due to a correction in the voters lists.

On Monday, the National Electoral Commission (CEN) offered provisional data that increased the voter registry to 9,292,277 voters compared to the last elections in March 2018, when the number of registered voters was 8,639,989.

As reported yesterday by the president of the CEN, Alina Balseiro, in an appearance on state television, the final count eliminated the double-counting of 594,580 voters who were on the lists at their permanent residences but exercised their votes in a different polling station.

Also, 3,445 deceased voters were excluded after the update, which left the current voter registry at 8,705,723.

With regards to the data, the total of 6,816,169 citizens, 86.85% of the 7,848,343 million voters who exercised their right to vote, opted for the Yes to the new Constitution.

It is also repeats the number of voters for the No, which totaled 706,400 Cubans, 9% of the ballots counted.

On the other hand, the updating of the register affected the result of those voting for the Yes, which went up to 78.30% of the updated list, instead of the 73.31% announced last Monday before the filtering of the electoral lists.

The votes for No amount to 706,400, for 8.11% of the updated list and 9% of the voters who voted.

The new Constitution will come into force when it is published in the Official Gazette of Cuba — at a date yet to be decided — and with that it will replace the current one dating from 1976.

Composed of 229 articles, 11 titles, two special provisions, 13 transitory and two final, the next Constitution does not contemplate major changes outside the economy, where it recognizes private property and considers foreign investment as necessary, two precepts that have already been applied for years in Cuba under the reforms of Raúl Castro.

The most outstanding novelty in the political sphere is that it establishes the figures of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, and establishes a limit of two consecutive presidential terms.

However, it maintains the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) as the “highest leading force in society” and ratifies communism as an aspiration, even though that term had been eliminated in the first draft of the constitutional reform.


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