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New Cuban constitution triggers process of electing leaders

 

CUBA is expected to install a Prime Minister and other executive members before the end of the year in accordance with the new Republican Constitution.

Communist Party of Cuba First Secretary Raul Castro says mandated at the beginning of 2020, are the election of provincial governors and vice-governors, and the designation of superintendents by municipal assemblies.

Castro said the Magna Carta replaced the February 24, 1976 Constitution but preserves the unity of all Cubans, the independence and sovereignty of the homeland, as fundamental pillars of the nation.

The new Constitution also retains the stand that economic, diplomatic, or political relations with any other state were never to be negotiated under aggression, threat, or coercion, on the part of a foreign power.

He explained that after studies we conducted, Cuba came to the conclusion that more than a reform, a new Constitution was required that would not be limited to updating the economic and social order, “but would deepen the principles of our state structure, the extension of citizen rights and guarantees, and other relevant issues; thinking not only of the present, but, above all, the future of the nation.”

Castro said some nine million people participated in more than 133,000 meetings to rewrite the Constitution that was finally approved by a national referendum.

He said everyone was able to express their opinions, which also contributed to raising citizens’ legal culture.

Castro said there were more than 1.7 million remarks made, from which some 783,000 proposals emerged.

“With their participation, the people became a true constituency,” he said.

“It is significant that the majority of Cubans who exercised the vote were members of generations born after the triumph of the Revolution, reflecting the strength and continuity of our principles.

The results of the referendum, on February 24, are unequivocal proof of this assertion. As has been reported, 90 per cent of citizens with the right to vote went to the polls, and of these, 86.85 per cent voted in favour, a figure that represents 78.3 per cent of all compatriots with the right to vote, with which the new Constitution of the Republic was approved.”

Castro said 95.85 per cent of ballots were valid and “only nine per cent voted No.”

“With regard to this last fact, we consider that this vote did not, in all cases, mean rejection of the general content of the new Constitution, but rather reflected opposition to specific topics,” he explained.

“Cuba demonstrated, once again, that via democratic mechanisms and exercising the right to self-determination, it is possible to strengthen our socialist system as a viable alternative, at a time when imperialist aggression is increasing, as it attempts to discredit progressive alternatives for social development. The Constitution we proclaim today [last Wednesday] guarantees the continuity of the Revolution and the irrevocability of our socialism. It synthesises the aspirations of all those who for more than 150 years have fought for a free, independent, sovereign Cuba, with social justice. This law of laws is a product of its time.”

Castro said the Constitution reflected the historical circumstances of the construction of “our society and legally establishes the changes that are taking place with a vision toward the future,” with the supreme purpose of achieving an increasingly prosperous, sustainable, inclusive, and participatory socialism.

“With this new text, the revolutionary state is institutionalised and strengthened, prepared to conduct its work, as required, transparently and in accordance with the law,” he said. “If something in particular distinguishes the document, it is respect for the full dignity of women and men, and the equality of Cubans, without discrimination, and these are precisely the pillars on which this society is based. This Constitution is a legacy for new generations of Cubans.”

He said it was not enough to proclaim the Constitution, but “it is necessary to put its precepts into practice.”

Castro said it was the National Assembly’s responsibility to undertake an intensive legislative effort to comply with the norms established in the Transitory Provisions of the Constitution.

He said the immediate tasks included the approval of a new Electoral Law with the purpose of presenting it to the National Assembly for approval during its next ordinary session.

“Once the Electoral Law is in effect, the National Electoral Council must be elected by this Assembly and, in accordance with the Second Transitory Provision of the Constitution, within the next three months, the Assembly itself will elect its President, Vice-President, and Secretary, other members of the Council of State, and the President and Vice President of the Republic,” Castro said. “Likewise, once the President of the Republic is elected, within three months, the new government will be submitted to the National Assembly, for approval, that is, this Parliament will designate the Prime Minister, First Deputy Prime Ministers, Secretary and other members of the Council of Ministers. We will work to ensure that all these steps are taken before the end of the year. Likewise, mandated at the beginning of 2020, are the election of provincial governors and vice-governors, and the designation of superintendents by municipal assemblies.”

He said the historical enemies of the Revolution had attempted to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the broad constitutional exercise.

“But all the slanders evaporate in the face of the irrefutable, massive support of our noble people,” said Castro.

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