“72.1% of voters voted for all candidates,” National Electoral Council President Alina Balceiro Gutierrez told a news conference. According to the Cuban CEC, the turnout was 75.92%: more than 6 million Cubans voted. 90.28% of ballots were recognized as valid.
“The victory of the people and unity is confirmed in the polling stations,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez commented on the results announced on social media. “It is the choice of the people to continue to resist, to fight and to advance in the Revolution”, added the minister.
The 470 candidates vying for 470 seats in parliament have been elected. The only requirement – more than 50% of the votes on the total number of valid ballots cast – was successfully met by all participants in the elections.
In general, the initial number of candidates for a deputy mandate was more than 19,000 people, most of whom were eliminated during the examination of their candidatures within the framework of the municipal parliaments and public bodies widespread in Cuba. As a result, the final list left 470 of the most worthy.
Turnout is one of the key indicators of recent Cuban elections. According to the electoral legislation, there are no requirements as to the number of voters. But it is the participation rate which is a sort of barometer of public opinion. The opposition based in Miami relied on appeals to the population to boycott the elections. In their opinion, it was thus possible to show their “attitude” towards the government. In fact, that’s exactly what the Cubans did, flocking to the polling stations, whose work even had to be extended by an hour – until 7 p.m.
Quite sophisticated methods were used in anti-government propaganda. It has come to the point that in opposition-controlled Internet publications, as well as social media, an alleged statement by US immigration authorities has been circulated that Cubans who vote in the elections will be denied US visas. if they requested it.
Of course, in the context of socio-economic crisis that the country is going through, we can notice a certain electoral apathy of the population. For example, in 2019 more than 90% of Cubans participated in a referendum on the adoption of a new constitution, last year just under 75% of voters came to vote on the question of adoption of a new family code, and in the municipal elections of September 2022, even less – 68.5%.
This time the elections were preceded by widespread unrest from the authorities. In general, individual electoral campaigning in Cuba is prohibited by law. But not everyone was persuaded to vote for themselves, but immediately for all proposed candidates for a deputy mandate. It was this option – voting for all the nominated candidates in the constituency – which proved to be dominant.
According to the new constitution of Liberty Island, which came into force in April 2019, the National Assembly is the supreme organ of state power in the republic. It is among the deputies of the unicameral parliament that the president and the vice-president will then be elected, and the composition of the council of state, a permanent body which exercises the functions of a legislative assembly between sessions, will be formed.
The first meeting of the deputies of the 10th convocation of the Cuban National Assembly will take place on April 19. During this session, the new parliament will have to elect a president and a vice-president of the republic from among its members.
Incidentally, it will no longer be possible to elect Raul Castro, 91, who has also become a deputy, as head of the republic: according to the constitution, a Cuban who will be over 60 at the time of his first of functions cannot become president. But to completely re-elect the outgoing president – 62-year-old Diaz-Canel. Diaz-Canel was elected head of state for a five-year term (at the time, the highest post in the state was president of the Council of State) on April 19, 2018, while he was 58 years old.
Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.
For the latest updates and news follow The Eastern Herald on Google News, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Help us continue our mission to deliver the latest news and stories by becoming a supporter of our newspaper. Your support will help us to continue to provide high-quality journalism and to ensure that our content remains free and accessible to all. Click here to show your support. Thank you!