More than eight million Cubans are invited to head to the polls this Sunday, November 26, to elect delegates to Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power, as Alina Balseiro Gutiérrez, president of the National Electoral Commission (CEN) reiterated on the Mesa Redonda program.
She highlighted that the nomination process saw a favorable outcome, with the participation of more than six million Cubans in neighborhood assemblies - superior to the electoral previous process - and more than 60,800 proposed nominees.
Of the 27,221 nominee candidates, 35.4% are women, noted Balseiro Gutiérrez, and 19.4% are young people. The majority of candidates have secondary and higher education levels, and workers from the production and services, as well as administration sectors, are most widely represented, although there are also non-state sector workers among candidates.
She pointed out that the readjustments to the election schedule, due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, allowed electoral authorities - about 200,000 people throughout the country - to further train, creating superior conditions and allowing for greater participation of the electorate. She stressed that the training at each stage has be extensive.
Regarding the results of the dynamic test (mock election), held November 19, she commented that difficulties related to electricity supply, transportation and some absences of electoral authorities were identified. However, all of the problems detected have been resolved, to ensure that the country is ready for election day.
More than 24,300 polling stations will open to voters at 7:00 am this Sunday. Voters are recommended to read the biographies of the candidates, check their details on the electoral register, vote early and for a single candidate, and not write anything that might void the ballot.
“This Sunday will be a celebration of democracy in Cuba; it will be a new victory,” Balseiro Gutiérrez concluded.
Meanwhile, Carlos Rafael Miranda Martínez, national coordinator of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, noted that “the organization is immersed in the preparations for its 9th Congress and we have considered the electoral process another stage in the preparation of this event. As such we have worked on strengthening the base structures and the call, from the local neighborhood, to participate in the vote.”
As part of the activities, Miranda Martínez continued, there have been neighborhood discussions, sanitation actions, decoration and preparation of the polling stations.
He also called for the participation of the CDRs in overseeing the vote, and expressed that the grassroots structures of each committee will supervise the process in its entirety. “A committed vote will be the best tribute to the Comandante en Jefe,” he noted.
Likewise, the member of the Party Political Bureau and Secretary General of the Federation of Cuban Women, Teresa Amarelle Boué, noted that women represent around 69% of the electoral authorities.
She stressed that Cuban women have closely followed local issues since the last elections, accompanying the delegates of each constituency in the solution of community problems, together with others organizations.
“If there is one sector of our society that is going to go to the polls on Sunday, it’s Cuban women, and we’ll go on Sunday to show our support for the continuity of the Revolution,” she stressed.
63.5% of electoral constituencies have nominated at least one woman candidate, representing recognition of the work of women. “We believe that we have all the potential to ensure that every day there are more women representing our people in the municipal assemblies of People’s Power,” Teresa Amarelle concluded.
For Raúl Alejandro Palmero Fernández, president of the Federation of University Students (FEU), the participation of student and mass organizations in all the candidacy commissions at all levels is also a unique feature of our electoral system.
More than 12,000 young collaborators of the Federation Secondary Education Students and the FEU, enthusiastically accepted the task of serving as collaborators of the electoral process on Sunday, he noted.
This November 26 “young people will supervise each polling station to ensure the legality, transparency and quality of the process, as well as compliance with the principles of our electoral and political system, and respect for the regulatory standards established by the National Electoral Commission,” he added.
He noted this “is a sign that we can continue to count on young people to undertake the utmost tasks in the country.”
Palmero also called on “all Cuban youth to join in tweeting as the Electoral Commission invites us, this November 24 from 10:00 am.to 1:00 pm using the hashtags #PorCuba and #Cuba, so that this is also a massive movement and shows the world the joy with which Cubans go to vote.”
A year ago, we swore allegiance and commitment to Fidel’s Concept of Revolution. The best way to honor his figure during this first anniversary of his death is to massively attend the polls, he stressed.
The FEU will also “guarantee the participation of 300,000 young people,” he noted, “who for the first time will exercise their right to vote on Sunday.”