The National Electoral Council provided preliminary information on the participation in the elections to renew the National Assembly and to elect the President and Vice President of the country.
Until 19:00 on Sunday, over eight million Cubans go to the polls to confirm 470 new members of the National Assembly, who in turn will elect the President, Vice President, and the Council of Ministers. Here are the major events as they happen:
Over 70% participation: The president of the National Electoral Council (CEN) of Cuba, Alina Balseiro, preliminarily informed that up to 5:00 p.m. local time this Sunday, a total of 5,711,397 voters went to the polls to renew the National Assembly of People's Power and elect the president of the country, out of a base of 8,120,072, which represents a participation rate of 70.34 percent.
Polling stations open for another hour: The secretary of the National Electoral Council of Cuba, María Esther Bacallao, said this Sunday afternoon that this authority decided to extend until 19h00 local time the operation of the more than 23,000 polling stations authorized to elect the 470 deputies that will integrate the National Assembly of Popular Power and elect the president and vice-president of the country.
A total of 4,883,476 Cubans have already voted this Sunday in the elections to renew the National Assembly of People's Power (Parliament). This figure represents more than 60 percent of the basic electoral roll of 8,120,072 voters.
According to what the vice-president of the National Electoral Council, Tomás Amarán Díaz, declared to the press, the voting is taking place without major incidents that could paralyze the normal flow of the process.
Over 41 percent of citizens registered to vote have gone to the polls. The National Electoral Council (CEN) Secretary Maria Bacallao announced that 3,382,992 citizens, who represent over 41 percent of people able to vote, had gone to the polls as of 11:00.
“So far, we have only detected a failure in the Mantua municipality's electoral council, which local authorities had to move to a second position after a power outage. This situation, however, was quickly solved,” Bacallo explained, recalling that physically-disabled voters can ask electoral authorities to bring the ballot to their homes.
Elderly citizens Hortensia Ramirez and Maximo Perez, who reside in Sancti Spiritus province, requested so to their electoral council. "I am Cuban to death. I did not want to stop voting,” said Perez, who is 86 years old.
#Cuba | The 470 candidates for deputies to the supreme body of the State, the National Assembly of People's Power, will be elected. Following the elections, they will have 45 days to elect the president and vice-president as well as the members of the Council of State. pic.twitter.com/qjI5yzUb2v— Santino����������♟�������������������������������� (@SantinoCortez99) March 26, 2023
Everything goes smoothly. The National Electoral Council (CEN) President Alina Balseiro announced that all polling stations opened without any incident at 07:00 and will remain open until the scheduled hour.
"Voting today is a right of Cubans, a great opportunity and an act of conscience because our people have a long history of confronting complex situations and overcoming them," National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) President Rafael Santiesteban stated after exercising his right to vote early in the Revolution Square in Havana.
Cuban Vice Prime Minister Ines Chapman and Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodriguez have already cast their votes. "My vote is for the Homeland, for continuing to build a more just and democratic socialist society," Rodriguez said.
Some 175,600 Cuban students will guard the ballot boxes in the national elections that will take place this Sunday, the newspaper Juventud Rebelde published today.#YoVotoXPorTodos #MejorEsPosible pic.twitter.com/7D7aW0mY0b— Cuban Embassy in US (@EmbaCubaUS) March 26, 2023
Cuba's President votes in Santa Clara. In the early hours of the morning, the Cuban leader Miguel Diaz-Canel went to the 44th constituency of Santa Clara to cast his vote.
Before entering the polling station, he spoke with some young people who expressed their support and confidence in the Cuban democratic process.
Diaz-Canel said that the candidates had the opportunity to dialogue with the citizens about the challenges that Cuba faces before the U.S. economic blockade and the unfair inclusion of the Caribbean nation in the list of State sponsors of terrorism.
The Cuban President also affirmed that the National Assembly must change its work system to facilitate exchanges with people and advance the legislative agenda.
Diaz-Canel expressed his confidence that the conscious vote of the Cuban people would make it possible to defend the future, the homeland and the unity of the Revolution.
#Cuba | Everything is ready at the school number 2 of the constituency 3 of Playa, in Havana, for today's general elections. At 7:00 local time, all the polling stations began the process to vote for the deputies to the tenth legislature of the Assembly. pic.twitter.com/v9WDBxSKym— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) March 26, 2023