[News] Cuba - democratic election system
news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 15 12:54:12 EST 2008
Press Release - New York, 15 January 2008
DEMOCRATIC ELECTION SYSTEM IN CUBA
General Elections 2007-2008
On 20 January 2008, the Cuban people will cast their vote to elect
the members (Deputies) of the National Assembly of People's Power
(Parliament) and the delegates to the 14 Provincial Assemblies of the
The National Assembly of People's Power is the supreme body of the
State's power and the Provincial and Municipal Assemblies are the
local higher bodies of the State's power.
More than 41 000 candidate nomination assemblies will be held during
the current election process, in more than 15 000 constituencies of
the country's 169 municipalities.
The present election process started with last 21 October's election
of the delegates to the 169 People's Power Municipal Assemblies. 8
176 085 electors voted at those elections, for a 96% of register voters.
In Cuba, Deputies to the National Assembly and Delegates to the
Provincial Assemblies are elected by the population's direct and
secret vote for a five (5) years term and elections take place on the
same day in all the national territory.
The newly elected Deputies elect the Council of State, as well as the
President, First Vice-President and Vice-Presidents of this body,
which is the State's top representative between Parliament sessions.
Elections in Cuba are characterized by all the people's
participation, thus its democratic character is guaranteed.
The vote is free, equal and secret, and each voter has the right to
cast only one vote.
For each Cuban, the exercise of the right to vote is an opportunity
to uphold the Homeland's sovereignty and independence and to
contribute to the people's unity to consolidate the Revolution
against the imperialist blockade and threats.
As an ethic standard, the Cuban election process is rid of expensive
and boisterous campaigns. There is no corporatization or a race to
raise funds or privilege public relations firms. None of the
candidates nominated in Cuba run campaigns in their favor or need
financial support to be made known. There are no rallies on squares
or streets in favor of any candidate, nor manifestations, nor cars
equipped with loudspeakers or posters with their picture, nor
electoral promises, nor television or newspaper propaganda for any candidate.
Cuban men and women elect their candidates on the basis of their
personal values, merits, prestige and their capacity to serve the
people, at resident's assemblies in neighborhoods, districts or urban
or rural areas.
The only propaganda is in the hands of the election authorities, and
consists in displaying the biography and picture of each candidate at
public places in the voters' areas of residence, so that they can
have information on the candidates' personal facts, prestige and
capacity to serve the people and freely cast their vote for the best.
The Communist Party of Cuba is not an organization with election
purposes. It does not propose, nominate, promote or support any
candidate. Nor it elects or revokes any of the thousands of men and
women who hold representative posts of the Cuban State.
The registry of voters is automatic, free and public. All the people
have access to it through its publication in easy-to-access places.
Voting is not compulsory in Cuba. Nobody has to fear not attending
the ballots on election days or if they choose to slip a blank or
void ballot into the box.
Polling stations are not guarded by the armed forces, but by
school-age children. Elections take place in a peaceful and quiet atmosphere.
The vote and counting are public. Vote counting in Cuban elections
can be watched at each polling station by any citizen that so wishes,
even by the national or foreign press.
In order to be elected Delegate to a Municipal or Provincial Assembly
of the People's Power, or Deputy to the National Assembly, the
candidate must get more than half of the validly cast votes.
Those elected are the representatives of their electors, that is, of
the people in general, of which they are also part. The democratic
exercise of the people does not end in the election process. It is
the people who control their representatives' work, for the latter
have a systematic accountability for their work. The people
participate with their representatives in the People's Power bodies'
decision-making process and in the activities carried out by NGOs
that make up the civil society. In this regard, all those elected can
be revoked by their electors at any time of the term.
Cuba does not purport to lecture or suggest models, yet it proudly
upholds its system of genuinely participative democracy.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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