Political Prisoners of the Empire  MIAMI 5     



Havana.  February 1, 2013

General principles guiding Cuba’s electoral system

THE country’s Electoral Law, Law No. 72 (1992) establishes two types of elections:

a) General elections every five years, to elect Delegates to Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power, their presidents and vice presidents; deputies to the National Assembly of People’s Power, its president, vice presidents and secretary; members of the Council of State, its president, vice presidents and secretary; as well as delegates to Provincial Assemblies of People’s Power, their presidents and vice presidents.

b) Partial elections every two and a half years, to elect delegates to Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power, their Presidents and Vice Presidents.


- All legally recognized citizens have the right to participate in state decision-making, directly or through their representatives.

- Nominations of candidates for Municipal Assemblies are made directly by the population in public meetings, on the basis of a freely determined, sovereign proposal. The plenums of mass organizations also nominate candidates for the National and Provincial Assemblies. The Party does not make nominations or promote candidates.

- Voter registration is universal, automatic and free of charge. Electors’ names appear on a public, easily accessible list. Electors have the right to make whatever claims or corrections they consider relevant, related to their inclusion or exclusion.

- Voting is freely determined, equal and secret. Every elector has the right to a single vote.

- All Cubans 16 years of age or older have the right to vote, with the exception of those declared mentally disabled by court order and those legally excluded because of crimes committed.

- All Cubans over the age of 16 may be elected as Municipal Assembly delegates, while National Assembly deputies must be at least 18.

- Members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and other military institutions have the right to vote and be elected.

- Voting stations are accessible, located in residential areas, each one serving a limited number of voters. There are no complicated procedures required of voters, who are only required to present their national identification card. Elderly or infirm voters may request that they be provided a ballot in their homes.

- There are no election propaganda campaigns and candidates do not promote themselves. Candidates’ credentials and accomplishments are disseminated in brief biographies posted in public areas.

- There is complete transparency throughout the election process, which is managed by the population itself. Voters, as well as any foreign visitors who so desire, are present when ballot boxes are sealed, to verify that they are empty before voting begins, and when ballots are counted. Results are announced and posted immediately.

- To be elected, a candidate must receive a majority vote, more than 50% of valid votes cast.


- The dissemination of information and the organization of elections is carried out by Election Commissions composed largely of local residents, guided by a sense of civic responsibility.

- Ballot boxes are symbolically guarded by children and adolescents.

- Representatives are required to report directly to the voters, describing their work and participation in the Assembly to which they were elected.

- All members of state representative bodies must be elected and may be re-elected, as well as removed by voters.

- Procedures exist to recall elected representatives at any time, for legally established reasons.

- Neither delegates to Municipal and Provincial Assemblies or National Assembly deputies are professionals. They continue to work as they did prior to election, with the exception of those serving as Assembly president, vice president or in some other special role. Throughout their terms, these individuals receive a salary from the respective assembly. The Constitution of the Republic states that representatives do not enjoy any financial privileges. During any time they spend carrying out official duties, they continue to receive the same salary or wages from the entity for which they work and maintain their status as employees for all relevant purposes.

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Editor-in-chief: Lázaro Barredo Medina / Editor: Gustavo Becerra Estorino
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