Voters vote in the second round of local elections / 14ymedio

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, 27 April 2015 — More than 1.2 million citizens were summoned on Sunday, 26 April, to the second round of the elections to choose delegates for the municipal Assemblies of People’s Power in 1,166 constituencies of 149 municipalities.

Voters exercised their right to vote at more than 3,300 poll locations, between seven o’clock in the morning and six in the evening. At the end of the process, the precinct workers counted the ballots.

In the first round, on 19 April, 11,425 delegates were elected from a total of 27,379 candidates. This Sunday, voters were called back to the polls in constituencies where candidates failed to get more than 50% of the valid votes.

During the first round of the elections, the percentage of abstention reached 11.7%, almost six points more than in the similar elections of 2012. The President of the National Electoral Commission, Alina Balseiro Gutiérrez, attributed these results to the fact that “tens of thousands of Cubans” are on temporary visits abroad.

However, several analysts attributed the increase of abstention, as well as the number of blank ballots submitted, to a “growing discontent” among the population. Also, according to left-wing opponent, Pedro Campos, in truly democratic elections, “the ruling party would lose in the first round.”

This year, among the candidates there were at least two regime opponents, branded as “counter-revolutionaries” by the Electoral Commission. Hildebrando Chaviano (Plaza de la Revolución municipality) finally attained a total of 189 votes, while Yuniel López O´Farrill (Arroyo Naranjo municipality) got 233.

Translated by Alberto