Beginning today, September 4 through the end of the month, the process of nominating candidates for upcoming general elections begins in neighborhood assemblies across the country.
In a message to the Cuban people on the occasion, Esteban Lazo, President of the National Assembly of People's Power, stated, "We are a few hours away from the beginning of the first stage of the general elections process, during which the people will nominate and elect delegates who will be members of Municipal Assemblies of People's Power, for the 18th term in office.
"To reach this moment, electoral commissions have worked intensely on the organization, provisioning, coordination, and preparation of the process … with the purpose of guaranteeing the functioning of thousands of electoral authorities, above all the 24,000 polling stations that will be opened in (the country's) 12,515 constituencies.
"We are among the few citizens in the world who in public meetings propose and nominate, openly and directly, candidates for constituency delegate, in an expression of profound democracy and enormous responsibility, since these individuals will form the Municipal Assembly, where they will make important decisions affecting the lives of inhabitants of the area, such as the approval and supervision of socio-economic plans, as well as the local budget, among many others."
After describing the role and responsibilities of delegates to be elected, Lazo continued, "Those proposed, nominated, and subsequently elected, in a direct and secret manner within our communities, may later be candidates and consequently elected as president or vice president of the local municipal body, of a People's Council, or a standing committee. But there is an even greater connotation: given that the Provincial Assembly and the National Assembly are composed of up to 50% constituency delegates, if a neighbor from our community is elected delegate, or provincial delegate, or deputy, they are also eligible to assume one of the highest offices at the provincial level, or even within the highest body of state power.
"Thus the responsibility that we are to assume as electors, to attend with our families this democratic, civic, participative event, which is the nomination of candidates assembly, to propose and nominate responsible and capable Cuban men and women, who are sensitive to the people's problems, and who will have the mission of advancing the improvement of People's Power on the road to the future chosen by our people.
"Freed forever from politicking, demagoguery, and campaigns based on money, trickery, and violence, I invite all to participate in this transparent, clean electoral process, with renewed enthusiasm and the certainty that its successful realization will be one more step toward consolidating our socialist democracy."