The elections process decides the government body which rules the island for a brief time.
Elections in Cuba are held at the provincial, municipal and national levels. Cuba has only one state in the party. The Communist Party of Cuba is called the superior driving force of society and the state. This has also been mentioned in the Cuban constitution, and any party other than this is considered illegal. Since the government does not promote free and fair voting, the elections in Cuba are not regarded as democratic.
Procedure of elections
As stated in the constitution, Cuba is a socialist republic, which means all the members of the bodies are elected and are subjected to recall the masses of the state agencies. Elections in Cuba are held in two phases:
- Elections of the delegates from the Municipal Assemble
- Election of the deputies in the National Assembly
The local population nominates the candidate SFP and the municipal assemblies at the local levels. And for the national assembly, the candidates are nominated by the members of the municipal assemblies by referring to a list compiled by the municipal and federal candidacy commissions.
Although the provincial assemblies were abolished in 2019, the provincial governors still hold their office, which is decided by the president of Cuba, with no provincial election.
The voters nominate elections of the municipal assembly delegates in the nomination assemblies by posting their candidate biographies. Then, a process called the secret ballot is followed for voting. Finally, these deputies are elected for a term of 5 years.
Before the voting, nomination assemblies are held a month before the elections within the electoral district.
Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Party has 605 members who serve a term of 5 years. As mentioned above, the candidates of this assembly are chosen by the candidacy commissions, which are composed of mass organizations representing youth, farmers, women, students, and others. Although only one candidature per seat is permitted, 50% of the votes ought to be elected. If a candidate fails to achieve at least 50% votes, a new candidate is selected for the position, and the procedure is repeated.
Rights of the legislative proposals
The Cuban constitution, adopted in 1976, provides rights for the citizens to propose laws, but the prerequisite is that the proposal should be backed by 10,000 citizens who are eligible to vote. For instance, in 2002, a movement was formed known as the Varela Project, which submitted nearly 11,000 signatures for national reform on the economic and political reforms of the island.
The government considered the petition and proposed a counter initiative which was later backed by 8.1 million signatures. Millions of Cubans also took to the street in support of the decision.