Cuba: Millions Head to Polls to Elect New Nati…

Cuba: Millions Head to Polls to Elect New National Assembly:

Cubans went polls Sunday to elect members of the National Assembly as well as to form the provincial assemblies. The polls opened at 6:00 a.m. local time and are expected to close at 5:00 p.m.

Over eight million Cubans are eligible to vote for the 14 provincial assembly delegates and the 605 National Assembly members. This process will move the Latin American country one step closer to selecting a new leader.

The National Assembly will choose a 31-member Council of State, the head of which will automatically become the president. More than half of the candidates, 322, are women.

There are approximately 1,265 delegates in total. The electoral cycle, which will culminate on April 19, commenced last year with the election of more than 12,515 ward delegates.

About half of the
provincial and national assembly candidates must be ward delegates. The
remaining candidates can be from the arts and sports fields or other

Candidates may be members of the Raul Castro-led Cuban Communist Party or not. Also, they can be from trade union groups or are among the country’s student body.