HAVANA ( Associated Press) — Cuban electoral officials dismissed Wednesday what was a government punishment vote with more than 30% absenteeism and participation in last week’s municipal elections.
President of the National Electoral Council (CNE) Alina Balsero announced on Wednesday the official count of the elections held on 27 November – the first round – and on 4 December – the second – the elections for councillors, representatives of each neighborhood and which form the political model of the island. is the first phase of
“It is very subjective and I think each process has its own characteristics and here we are choosing the representative of the constituency,” Balseiro explained during a press conference when the qualification of the conviction vote was determined by the highest voter turnout registered. Rejected as an explanation. last election. On the island, He emphasized that at stake was the position of the neighborhood’s representatives.
Out of a register of 8.3 million eligible people, 5.7 million cast their vote in person for 68.56%, ie an absence of 31.44%, the official indicated, confirming the trend that the CNE had already provisionally reported. did. lap.
Balseiro said that valid votes were 5.1 million for 89.11% and 5.22% of them were blank.
12,427 representative posts were disputed all over the country.
While turnout of 30% or more may be sustained in many Latin American countries, Cuba had better turnout in previous years’ electoral processes: 10.98% in the 2017 municipal elections and only 5 in the 2012 elections, with 79% turnout. did not participate. ,
However, in a referendum held in September to approve the Family Code two months earlier,This figure reached 25.88%.
These elections serve to elect the councilors who make up the Municipal Assemblies of the People’s Power – the local government – the first level of an electoral system that does not consider the consent of political parties according to island laws – is the representative or representatives. Nominated from amongst the residents of each block.
Elections are called next March to form the National Assembly of the People’s Power (ANPP), the parliament from which the President of the Republic emerges.
50% of the ANPP should be made up of these representatives or base councillors.
These delegates do not receive a salary for their work – nor do the national delegates – and remain in their normal workplaces. At the same time, rules prevent nominations by political parties—not even the Communist Party, the only one with legal status—, but propose to residents in each block and city of the country.
The model is defended with allusions to the fact that it prevents corruption, scandals and fraud in elections with parties, but according to its detractors it prevents opponents from ultimately reaching power.
These elections are held in the context of a surge in emigration, as well as a strong economic crisis. About 220,000 Cubans were found only on the southern border of the United States between October 2021 and last September.
At the same time, the Electoral Authority official stressed the transparency of the election, although he acknowledged that the CNE was aware of some irregularities in the process. According to Balsero, who did not provide details about which irregularities, he said they had already been addressed.
However, he said he was unaware of the specific case of José Cabrera Parada from the city of Palma Soriano in the eastern province of Santiago, who according to the versions of the opponents was nominated by his neighbors to participate in the election but was prevented from voting. . The disgruntled workers said they were subjected to pressure, including being fired from their jobs for being against the government.