HAVANA TIMES – Cuban authorities have concluded the local elections phase, the only one with a direct vote, of an electoral process that should culminate in February with the announced replacement of the current president, Raul Castro.
This Sunday the second round of the municipal elections was held to elect the delegates (councilors) to the Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power in 1,103 districts in which no candidate won a majority in the first round on 26 November.
It is expected that in February elections will be held to elect deputies to the National Assembly (Parliament), who will be responsible for appointing the president and the Council of State from among its members.
In these elections there will be only one candidate for each seat and the Government/Party will promote a vote for all the candidates, to demonstrate loyalty to “the Revolution” and its historical and present leaders.
Half of the members of the legislative body will be made up of municipal delegates and the other half will be put forward by the Candidacy Commission, which is made up government approved social and labor organizations.
If everything goes in line with what was announced, Raul Castro, 86, will turn over the presidency in February 2018 to a leader without the surname Castro. However, it is expected that Raul remains in front of the all-powerful Communist Party, rector of the socio-economic and political life of the country.
Official media reported that 3,222 polling stations were activated throughout the country on Sunday conduct the second round of voting in those voting districts where none of the candidates obtained more than 50 percent of the valid votes cast on November 26th.
According to official data, the first round had a participation of more than 85% of the potential voters.