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Cubans vote in municipal elections

10-22-2012 11:26 BJT


CCTV Correspondent Michael Voss

More than eight million Cubans went to the polls today to elect delegates for their local municipal authorities. It marks the start of an electoral process which culminates in February when a new National Assembly votes in the country’s President for a new 5 year term. 

Every ballot box is flanked by primary school children in Pioneer uniforms who solute after each voting slip goes in. Up to eight candidates can stand for any one seat in their local Municipal Assemblies which are responsible for everything from road maintenance to garbage collection.

Marilyn Ortega from the Municipal Election Commission, said, "It’s a very democratic system and very Cuban likes the young pioneers here, and anyone elected at the base can reach go on to reach the top.

Anyone over the age of 16 can be nominated to stand and candidates are selected at street meetings in each neighborhood block.
Political campaigning is not allowed under Cuban electoral law. There are no TV commercials, rallies or leaflets through the front door. Instead each candidate places a photo and brief biography on a local wall.

This man is 50 years old, works for the Ministry of Interior and a communist party activist. His rival is 52, a naval engineer who is not a party member.

Elections for the National Assembly follow in January, but this time it’s a closed selection process. There will be only one candidate for each seat and they are selected by a mix of provincial authorities, trade unions, the women’s federation and others.

When Fidel Castro underwent emergency surgery in 2006 he handed temporary power to his brother Raul. But Raul Castro only officially became President at the current National Assembly’s  first sitting in 2008.

He is expected to be re-elected again. Now all eyes are on who the vice presidents will be and whether a new younger generation of leaders will start to emerge.


Editor:James |Source:

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