On Sunday, Cubans will vote to confirm 470 National Assembly members, who will elect the country’s President, Vice President, and the Council of Ministers members.
Cuba to Have 250 Special Polling Stations for Elections -CEN
About 23,600 polls were set up for these elections, in which over 90 percent of the population available to vote will participate. The candidates will exchange with the electorate and expose their proposals until March 24. Below is a summary of the milestones of the electoral processes held in Cuba since the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.
1976: The first electoral process after the Revolution
On April 10, 1975, citizens began to discuss a Constitution draft that defined the Socialist character of the Revolution and set the Municipal and National Assemblies to represent the people’s rights. On Feb.24, 1976, this draft was approved by 98 percent of the votes.
In October 1976, citizens elected over 10,725 delegates to the 169 Municipal Assemblies, which were installed 13 days after. On Nov. 2, the first National Assembly members were also elected.
"In this historic act, our Socialist state adopts definitive institutional forms. It was a duty and, at the same time, a great triumph of our generation to reach this goal," said Fidel Castro, who was elected President by the National Assembly.
1992: Adoption of a new electoral law
From 1976 to 1992, the Cuban people nominated the Municipal Assembly delegates and elected them through a direct and free vote. Subsequently, these delegates chose the National Assembly members.
On July 12, 1992, the National Assembly approved a constitutional reform, which set that citizens elect municipal assemblies delegates and confirm the National Assembly members through a free, direct, and secret vote.
This new law also stipulated that candidates must obtain over 50 percent of the votes to be chosen as Municipal Assemblies or National Assembly members. If this does not happen, a second round of elections must be held with the two candidates who won the most ballots.
2019: New constitution approval
In June 2018, the National Assembly set a commission made up of 33 legislators to draft a new Constitution. This new Magna Carta underscored the irrevocability of socialism in Cuba and established that the presidential term must be five years with the option of immediate re-election for an equal time. It also defined that the minimum age to hold the presidency will be 35 years.
From August to November of that year, over 8 million Cubans participated in popular consultations to discuss the Constitution draft’s articles.
On Feb. 24, 2019, the new Magna Carta was approved through a popular referendum in which over 90 percent of citizens available to vote took part.
“The new Constitution will contribute to a new stage of the revolutionary process that will further develop socialism and strengthen our independence, sovereignty, and economic model,” President Miguel Diaz-Canel stated.