Cuba, Feb 9th – There is no need to dig to find the answer. The Law No. The Electoral Law, 72, of 29 October 1992, is explicit, and Dr. José Luis Toledo Santander, chairman of the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters of the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP/ Parliament), is not allowed.
“The President of the Council of State in Cuba is chosen in elections of second grade, or members, elected by the people and in Representation of the People Act, approved the candidacy and then vote, in a direct and secret ballot, by those who serve on the Council of State, that is to say, the President, the First Vice-president, the vice presidents, the secretary and other members”.
Sometimes we hear criteria, and not always those with good intentions, that question, in the view of Toledo Santander, “if the election of the President responds to a direct expression of the people. We do not understand, however, that someone in Cuba to reach that position has to go through several elections, in which it participates the people directly or their elected representatives.”
During the dialog with Granma, also professor of the University of Havana prefers to particularize in each stage, so that it is possible to glimpse the transit through a path that starts, according to his explanation, when “the partner (or partner) is proposed as a candidate for deputy to the National Assembly in plenary of a mass organization”.
On this occasion, the 605 candidates for deputies to the ANPP, which is to vote on the next 11 March and between those who will emerge the President, came out of the more than 12 thousand 970 proposals that have emerged in the plenary sessions held throughout the country. And of these candidates, the 47.4 % are district delegates, database, the same as the people elected during the first phase of the process of general elections.
Later, continues to Toledo Santander, “it is the responsibility of the nomination by the Municipal Assembly of Popular Power”, a process that is not, in any way, formal. “This is where the Candidature Commissions at that level are candidates, and they are the assemblies to decide, by direct vote and open, if you approve or not.” In fact, each one of the proposals, to be subscribed, must have more than half of the votes of the delegates present.
And in the case of not being approved the candidacy or any of the candidates, the Commission has the responsibility to present a new proposal, which is subjected to the same procedure.
“Once nominated candidates, we witnessed another episode, which corresponds to the exercise of the free, direct and secret vote of the people, whether in a constituency or district, where they are elected members”.
This time spoken of by the Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters coincides precisely with the elections of 11 March ahead, when the Cubans and Cuban choose also delegates to the provincial assemblies.
In his opinion, it is worth noting that, according to the Law, “every member is elected by each 20 thousand inhabitants or fraction of 10 thousand, and even in those municipalities that have a thousand 30 inhabitants or less always be elected two Deputies. That is why the National Assembly holds the representation of all the people”.
Explains that “after being elected members and take ownership in the ANPP, the Committee on Nominations National calls to query to each of the elected officials and all have the right to propose who would, in his view, the members of the Council of State, or to suggest 31 people among them, that includes the President.
“Subsequently, the Commission submitted to the National Assembly, in open ballot, a candidate as a result of the proposals made, and it is the members’ right to modify it in whole or in part; and after being approved, is submitted to the free, direct and secret vote. It is then when you choose it, finally, to the President of the Council of State”.
According to the spirit of the Electoral Law, to cease to function the President, is replaced by the First Vice President.
The way by which the process is, in the words of Toledo Santander, “the more clearly reflected the participation of the people or of the representatives elected by the people. Cuba is the only country that elects its Head of State in elections of second grade. There are many nations that implement this type of election, which does not limit, in any way, its legitimacy and democratic”.(Adelante)