Cuba’s Castro sets elections timetable
Cuba is set to hold municipal elections on October 22, a precursor to
the handover of power from President Raul Castro in 2018. Accession in
one-party systems is never easy, and Cuba is no exception.
President Castro has said he will step down next February at the end of
his second five-year term, but has indicated he will stay on as head of
the Communist Party, the only legal party in Cuba.
The date for provincial and national assembly elections will be
published “at the corresponding time,” the ruling Communist Party
newspaper Granma said on Wednesday.
Municipal assembly delegates are nominated by neighbors and do not have
to belong to the Communist Party, although the path to the National
Assembly and ultimately to the presidency is controlled by the party.
Which way next?
The electoral notice coincides with a period of uncertainty for Cuba.
The group that has ruled the country since the 1959 revolution is dying
out and Cuba’s main political and trade ally Venezuela is in crisis. For
the past decade, Venezuelan oil subsidies have been crucial to Cuba’s
US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, is expected to announce his Cuba
policy on Friday.
Trump may roll back some of former President Barack Obama’s overtures to
the island, which included the restoration of relations and the
reopening of embassies.
Castro’s first vice president, the 57-year-old Miguel Diaz-Canel, is
widely tipped to assume Castro’s mantle, but there is also talk of a
radical break with the older generation and an embrace of the market
reforms that have been a feature of Castro’s nine-year rule.
Castro took over the presidency in 2008 from his ailing brother and
revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, who died last November. As a cautious
pragmatist, many initially felt the younger sibling was a stopgap when
he formally assumed office.
Source: Cuba?s Castro sets elections timetable | News | DW | 15.06.2017