HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban government called today for regularly schedule elections on April 19th for local delegates, the part of the process of electing municipal authorities where the population is allowed to participate, reported dpa news.
In any voting district where no candidate receives 50% of the valid votes cast a runoff among the top two vote getters will take place a week later on April 26.
The island has approximately eight million voters in a population of a little over 11 million people. The local delegates are elected for a period of two and a half years.
While the elections are technically non-partisan Cuba is governed at all levels by a one-party system that concentrates political representation in the Communist Party.
Cuban law bans election campaigns; the candidates can only post a brief resume and small photograph on some designated places in the district. No local or national issues are discussed in the pre-electoral period.
In the last similar elections in 2012 a total of 14,500 delegates were elected nationwide in the more than 160 municipalities. The government says the voter turnout exceeded 90 percent.
The outlawed political opposition brands Cuba’s mid-term and general elections (held every 5 years) a total “farce”.
Likewise, the political-economic system on the island is almost fully centralized and municipal governments have very little say as to the investments or expenditures in their cities.