(Telesur) – The Cuban Council of State called on Tuesday for the holding of general elections to decide the delegates of both the municipal and provincial assemblies, and also to choose the deputies of the National Assembly of People’s Power.
According to the Cuban newspaper Granma, the first round of elections for municipal representatives will be held on October 22, 2017, and the second round runoff for candidates who haven’t obtained at least 50% of the vote will be held on October 29th.
A date has not yet been officially set for the elections of the provincial assemblies and the National Assembly.
The municipal assembly representatives serve for a term of two-and-a-half years, whereas the provincial assembly representatives and the National Assembly delegates serve five year terms.
The National Assembly is the highest acting body in Cuba, and is the only one invested with constituent and legislative authority. According to Granma, it represents the “sovereign will of all the people,” and is “comprised of deputies elected by free, direct, and secret vote.”
The Council of State, consisting of a president, a first vice president, five vice presidents, a secretary, and 23 additional members, is elected by the deputies of the National Assembly.
The Council, in addition to calling for the holding of elections, is responsible for legislative duties when the National Assembly is in between sessions.
Cuban assembly members eleted at the local level hail from diverse sectors of society, and usually continue to work at their regular jobs in addition to their parliamentary duties which are unpaid, volunteer positions.
Women currently comprise almost 50 percent of Cuba’s assembly members, making Cuba third in the world for women’s participation in parliament. The world average for national parliaments is a mere 20 percent.