Havana, Dec 21 – The Cuban Parliament today agreed to modify its schedule due to exceptional conditions created by Hurricane Irma, and postponed the constitution of the 9th Legislature for April 2018.
According to a resolution adopted on Thursday at the plenary session of the legislative body, the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba, by virtue of an Agreement dated December 15, 2017, proposed the People’s Power National Assembly to extend the end of the current legislature until April 24, 2018.
The document notes the impossibility to hold the elections to choose the delegates at the People’s Power Provincial Assemblies and the lawmakers at the National Assembly on the dates that were initially set (before February 18 and 24, 2018, respectively).
According to the text, the serious situation caused by Hurricane Irma in September prevents the next legislature to begin its mandate on February 24, 2018, as planned.
Article 72 of the Constitution of the Republic establishes that the People’s Power National Assembly is elected for a five-year period.
The Constitution makes it clear that that period ‘can only be extended by an agreement by the Assembly itself in case of a war or by virtue of other exceptional circumstances that prevent the normal holding of election and as long as such circumstances exist’.
The president of the Constitutional and Juridical Affairs Committee, Jose Luis Toledo, reminded the lawmakers gathered at Havana’s Convention Center about the catastrophic consequences of Hurricane Irma for the country.
That situation caused the immediate and prioritized distribution of resources to speed up the recovery and gradually reestablish the people’s normal living conditions, he pointed out.
That meteorological event made it impossible objectively to implement the agenda set by the National Election Commission to hold the general election, thus the need to modify the schedule by the Council of State.
Cuba’s unicameral parliament is the supreme organ of State power and its members are elected for a five-year term.
At the beginning of the 8th legislature in February 2013, 612 lawmakers were elected, including 284 grassroots delegates who represent 46.4 percent of the total. Women account for 48.86 percent and men are 51.14 percent of parliamentarians. (Prensa Latina)