principles guiding Cuba’s electoral system
THE country’s Electoral Law, Law No. 72 (1992)
establishes two types of elections:
a) General elections every five years, to elect
Delegates to Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power,
their presidents and vice presidents; deputies to
the National Assembly of People’s Power, its
president, vice presidents and secretary; members of
the Council of State, its president, vice presidents
and secretary; as well as delegates to Provincial
Assemblies of People’s Power, their presidents and
b) Partial elections every two and a half years,
to elect delegates to Municipal Assemblies of People’s
Power, their Presidents and Vice Presidents.
- All legally recognized citizens have the right
to participate in state decision-making, directly or
through their representatives.
- Nominations of candidates for Municipal
Assemblies are made directly by the population in
public meetings, on the basis of a freely determined,
sovereign proposal. The plenums of mass
organizations also nominate candidates for the
National and Provincial Assemblies. The Party does
not make nominations or promote candidates.
- Voter registration is universal, automatic and
free of charge. Electors’ names appear on a public,
easily accessible list. Electors have the right to
make whatever claims or corrections they consider
relevant, related to their inclusion or exclusion.
- Voting is freely determined, equal and secret.
Every elector has the right to a single vote.
- All Cubans 16 years of age or older have the
right to vote, with the exception of those declared
mentally disabled by court order and those legally
excluded because of crimes committed.
- All Cubans over the age of 16 may be elected as
Municipal Assembly delegates, while National
Assembly deputies must be at least 18.
- Members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and
other military institutions have the right to vote
and be elected.
- Voting stations are accessible, located in
residential areas, each one serving a limited number
of voters. There are no complicated procedures
required of voters, who are only required to present
their national identification card. Elderly or
infirm voters may request that they be provided a
ballot in their homes.
- There are no election propaganda campaigns and
candidates do not promote themselves. Candidates’
credentials and accomplishments are disseminated in
brief biographies posted in public areas.
- There is complete transparency throughout the
election process, which is managed by the population
itself. Voters, as well as any foreign visitors who
so desire, are present when ballot boxes are sealed,
to verify that they are empty before voting begins,
and when ballots are counted. Results are announced
and posted immediately.
- To be elected, a candidate must receive a
majority vote, more than 50% of valid votes cast.
- The dissemination of information and the
organization of elections is carried out by Election
Commissions composed largely of local residents,
guided by a sense of civic responsibility.
- Ballot boxes are symbolically guarded by
children and adolescents.
- Representatives are required to report directly
to the voters, describing their work and
participation in the Assembly to which they were
- All members of state representative bodies must
be elected and may be re-elected, as well as removed
- Procedures exist to recall elected
representatives at any time, for legally established
- Neither delegates to Municipal and Provincial
Assemblies or National Assembly deputies are
professionals. They continue to work as they did
prior to election, with the exception of those
serving as Assembly president, vice president or in
some other special role. Throughout their terms,
these individuals receive a salary from the
respective assembly. The Constitution of the
Republic states that representatives do not enjoy
any financial privileges. During any time they spend
carrying out official duties, they continue to
receive the same salary or wages from the entity for
which they work and maintain their status as
employees for all relevant purposes.