Elections in Cuba: More Than 85% of the Electorate Exercised Their Right to Vote

Source:  Cuba Inside the World & TeleSUR

The president of the National Electoral Commission emphasized that the day passed with tranquility, organization and discipline.

cuba's municipal elections nov 2017 3.jpg

Seven million 608,404 Cubans went to the polls this past Sunday to elect the delegates to the municipal assemblies of the Popular Power, reported on Monday Alina Balseiro, president of the National Electoral Commission (CEN).

Related:  Elections in Cuba: Like Nowhere Else!

This figure represents 85.94 percent of the eight million 855,213 citizens summoned to exercise their right to vote in the first stage of the 2017-2018 general elections, according to data offered by Balseiro at a press conference.

cuba's municipal elections nov 2017 2.jpgThe number of voters this past Sunday increased by 54,882 with respect to the elections of 2015.

– Of all the ballots deposited, 91.79 percent were valid, 4.12 percent were blank and only 4.07 percent were canceled.

– The provinces with the best percentages of valid ballots were Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo, Las Tunas, Granma and Sancti Spíritus.

-11,415 delegates were elected from the 12,515 existing districts.

-Of the total of elected, women represent 35.47 percent, while young people 14.36.

-The second round will include 1,100 districts next December 3, 67 less than in 2015.

Balseiro stressed that the election day passed with calm, organization, discipline and compliance with the law. He also thanked the agencies and institutions that supported the process.

cuba elections nov 2017.jpg

Ten truths about Cuba’s general elections

Source: greenleft.org
November 17, 2017

Although the media spends a lot of time portraying Cuba as a “dictatorship”, it has barely covered the fact that Cubans have once again begun a process of electing officials, starting from the local and going all the way up to the national parliament.

ten truths about cuba.jpegAlready, 78% of the population has participated in the process of selecting candidates for local government elections scheduled for November 26. A second round is scheduled for December 5 in cases where no candidate reaches 50%.

More than 27,000 candidates (from an initial list of 60,800 nominees) will contest for more than 12,000 seats spread out across 168 municipal assemblies. Sixty-five per cent of candidates are not sitting incumbents and 35% are women.

The second round of the process, to elect representatives to regional parliaments and the National Assembly, is scheduled for early next year. President Raul Castro has already announced he will step down as the head of state following the election of the next National Assembly.

Below, Sean J Clancy takes a look at Cuba’s electoral system, busting some of the myths that are constantly repeated by media pundits and critics.

  1.  “No party basis

Cuba’s elections are organised and conducted in two stages on a “No Party”, as opposed to (and as often suggested) a “One Party” basis.

The Cuban Communist Party (PCC) is not a political party in the sense that this term is generally understood. No PCC (or any other party) candidates stand for election.

This system avoids many inequities and imbalances inherent in its party-political based counterparts and ensures a fairer and more – rather than less – democratic electoral process.

Local government candidates are selected during the first stage of the electoral process, on personal merit, by their neighbours and peers in an open and transparent community-based process. They are elected by secret ballot on polling day.

2.  Fund raising

Candidates can neither – nor do they need to – raise nor spend any funds or offer any favours on election campaigns. All candidates – regardless of their political, social or economic status – are granted equal access to all voters and media.

3.  Candidate information

Information about each candidate and their attributes, experience, qualifications, suitability and ability are posted with a corresponding passport photograph in a uniform CV-style presentation in public buildings and spaces, to which all voters have access.

4.  Voluntary participation

People are encouraged to participate in the democratic process, which is very well organised, supervised and secure.

Voting is not obligatory, but more than 90% of the electorate have traditionally participated voluntarily in the polls.

In a country where migration is an integral part of the societal fabric, the actual turnout is often even higher than recorded, because of the presence on the register of people not in the country on voting day.

5.  Number of candidates that you can vote for

Voters can vote for one, any or all of the candidates on the ballot sheet. Each candidate needs to secure more than 51% of the popular vote to be elected, even when it is a “first past the post” election.

If no candidate in a designated area reaches the quota, a second round is held.

6.  Part-time or full time job?

Participation in politics in Cuba is essentially a part-time (but nonetheless time-consuming), unpaid and voluntary act of public service, rather than a materially motivated career choice. It involves self-sacrifice and effort.

Parliamentarians seconded from their jobs onto one of the full-time commissions that undertake the legislative administration of the state receive the same salary they were paid prior to their secondment and return to their posts once the relevant commission’s work has been concluded.

7.  Participatory vs representative

Cuba’s electoral and democratic model is “participatory” rather than “representative”.

Prior to the passing of any significant new laws, legislators often consider thousands of proposals, suggestions and concerns, raised by millions of citizens at hundreds of nationwide grassroots meetings and internal mass organisation consultations.

Informed popular opinion does not determine political decision-making, but it is given a degree of due consideration absent in most other supposedly “superior” systems

8.  Role of Cuban mass organisations

Candidates for election during the second stage of the electoral process to the provincial and single chamber National Assembly are carefully selected by qualified members of Cuba’s representative mass organisations, including (but not only) the Cuban Congress of Trade Unions, the Federation of Cuban Women, the National Association of Small Farmers and the unions covering university and school students.

Up to 50% of the candidates, who will form the foundation of the higher assemblies, will come from those that have already been elected to local governments. They will stand again in their home constituencies.

The remaining candidates are nominated and selected on merit and can stand in the constituency that would most benefit from their particular skill sets, experience and political proposals and where they are deemed to be most needed.

9.  Neighbourhood-based assemblies

All deputies give an account of their endeavours on behalf of their constituents and relay information about local and national political developments and at neighbourhood-based assemblies.

Constituents freely (and often vociferously) express their views at these assemblies about everything from rubbish collection and street lighting to national taxation policy, the scourge of bureaucracy and world affairs.

10.  More corruption – free

Cuba’s unique and sovereign electoral model ensures that no elected deputy or appointed official is in a position to offer political or administrative favours in return for monetary or material reward.

The Cuban model is probably more corruption-free than any global counterpart, although – like every other – not without its imperfections and critics.

It is a democratic and electoral process from which a lot can be learned and within which there is a lot to be lauded.

Venezuela Swears In Newly-Elected Governors

Source:  TeleSUR
October 19 2017

venezuela swear in newly elected governors.jpgVenezuela’s ANC President Delcy Rodriguez is flanked by newly elected governors who are being sworn in by the ANC. | Photo: Twitter / @EstherYez

  • The governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV, won 18 of the 23 governorships.

Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly, ANC, President Delcy Rodriguez is presiding over a special session of the political body to swear in candidates who won Sunday’s gubernatorial election.

RELATED:   Venezuelan Regional Elections Observer: Process was Smooth

In direct reference to the U.S. “empire,” Rodriguez proclaimed that “aggression, sanctions and blockades that pretend to break the will of the people of Venezuela will fail.”

Rodriguez continued by saying that “today is a day of victory for the people,” adding that Sunday’s gubernatorial election “marks a new spirit” because “Venezuelans want to live in peace.”

Accompanied by Tibisay Lucena, president of the National Electoral Council, CNE, she emphasized that the ANC, vigilant of the will of each citizen, participated in election audits to confirm the lack of foul play.

This transparent, public accountability measure has been established by the Organic Law of Electoral Processes. Article 4 of the law states that “the National Electoral Council, as the governing body and highest authority of the Electoral Power, shall exercise the direction, conduct, supervision and control of electoral processes.”

In that vein, Rodriguez reiterated Venezuela’s robust voting audits, mechanisms that have been hailed by the Council of Electoral Experts in Latin America, the Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America and even former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

There is no room for fraud

“There is no room for fraud,” unlike claims made by opposition leader Gerardo Blyde, Rodriguez said, adding that even “parties on the right endorsed all audits.”

She went on to say that a “rebirth of Bolivarianism” transpired with Sunday’s election results.

“The president of the Bolivarian Republic, Nicolas Maduro, defeated the leaders of the empire with his leadership. This election represented a new chapter for the country, a renewed hope for the Venezuelan people.”

She concluded that the democratic victory sent an emphatic message to the international community.

The governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV, won 18 of 23 governorships.

Raul: Venezuela has given another great lesson in peace, democratic vocation, courage, and dignity

Message from Army General Raúl Castro to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

raul y nicolas 4.jpg“I congratulate you on the results of the state elections. Venezuela has given another great lesson in peace, democratic vocation, courage, and dignity.

Source:  Granma
October 17, 2017 08:10:30

by: Granma | internet@granma.cu

Havana

October 16, 2017

Comrade Nicolás Maduro Moros

President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Esteemed Nicolás:

I congratulate you on the results of the state elections. Venezuela has given another great lesson in peace, democratic vocation, courage, and dignity .

The legacy of Chávez is alive. He and Fidel would be very proud of this victory.

You can always count on the support and solidarity of Cuba.

An embrace,

Raúl Castro Ruz

President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba

PSUV Wins Regional Elections, Assures Maduro’s Reelection

Source:  TeleSUR
October 17 2017

By: Dr. Jesus Silva R.

President Maduro Oct 2017.jpgVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at a PSUV conference in Caracas. | Photo: PSUV

17 October 2017

by Dr. Jesus Silva R.

It’s time to launch diplomatic bridges to begin to reverse the proposed isolation of Venezuela.

With 18 governorships won in the elections of Oct. 15, 2017, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, PSUV, becomes the favorite to win the presidential election in 2018. With Chavismo’s 18 regions and the support of the National Constituent Assembly, ANC, the political conditions are in place to virtually ensure the re-election of President Nicolas Maduro.

RELATED:  After Socialists Win 17 of 23 States, US Claims Venezuela Elections Not ‘Free and Fair’

The debacle of the Venezuelan opposition started after they called for violent street protests that produced 150 dead and more than a thousand injured and wounded. They insisted on this strategy for four months and later abandoned it without apologizing to the Venezuelan people.

Then came the regional elections and the opposition signed up to participate in them after they had sworn never to leave the battle in the streets. So much incoherence, cynicism and irresponsibility was punished by hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters who were disillusioned with the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable, MUD, and did not vote for them.

The biggest challenge of the PSUV

Now that the electoral battle is over, the biggest challenge of the PSUV is the economic recovery of the country and restoring the supply of food and medicines. There should be a call for dialogue with business sectors which had joined the assault against the government through the sabotage of production and the voluntary reduction of activities with the aim of causing social unrest.

Now these entrepreneurs who have witnessed their political allies in the MUD soundly defeated at the ballot box, they have the opportunity to approach the government and through a sincere relationship, contribute to the recovery of the national economy.

Likewise, on the political front, the revolutionary leadership has the opportunity to re-legitimize party authorities as ruled in Article 67 of the Constitution by means of internal elections. The next phase would be to create more spaces for interaction with those members of the rank and file who do not have an organized militancy within the PSUV itself. Such members wish to participate in the political and social tasks of the revolutionary process currently in the hands of their leaders.

The people voted for peace

For the international community, the message is clear: the people voted for peace, do not want a foreign military invasion, nor violent street protests (guarimbas), nor financial blockades, nor terrorism. It’s time to launch diplomatic bridges to begin to reverse the proposed isolation of Venezuela.

Finally, we salute the democratic gesture of Maduro to immediately recognize the election results issued by the National Electoral Council, including those that were unfavorable for the PSUV, and to call the new opposition governors to work together with the central government for the good of the whole country.

Brazil’s Lula Surges in Polls Ahead of 2018 Election

Source:  TeleSUR
Ocvtober 1 2017

He was credited with lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and tackling hunger.

lula 10.jpgFormer Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva | Photo: AFP

Roughly 35 percent of voters will support the former president in the first round of the 2018 general election.

Despite being sentenced to nine years and six months over alleged corruption charges in Operation Car Wash investigations, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva continues to broaden his lead in the upcoming 2018 presidential election, according to the latest Datafolha poll.

RELATED:   Lula Calls for Policies Centered on the Working Class to Push Brazil Forward

Published in Folha de Sao Paulo on Saturday, the survey indicated that 35 percent of voters would support the former president in the first round of voting. That’s a five percent increase from the last poll released in June.

The Datafolha poll also indicated that Lula would defeat all presidential candidates in a runoff vote.

While right-wing congressman and presidential hopeful Jair Bolsonaro trailed in polling by 17 percent of voting intentions, former environment minister Marina Silva was behind by 13 percent.

Meanwhile, Sao Paulo State Governor Geraldo Alckmin and Sao Paulo Mayor Joao Doria held only eight percent of voting intentions each, Reuters reported. Both are members of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, or PSDB, which is allied with right-wing President Michel Temer.

Lula’s two-term presidency (2003-2010) was marked by a slew of social programs. He was credited with lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and tackling hunger.

The Family Allowance

One of his most ambitious and successful programs was the Family Allowance. Launched in 2003, the program provides stipends to families living below the poverty line. In turn, those families must prove that their children are attending school and have been vaccinated.

The program’s objective is to empower Brazil’s working class, ensuring that impoverished families are able to eat, purchase hygienic materials and have access to other basic necessities.

“The poor are not the problem, the poor are the solution, when we include the poor everything improves,” Lula told teleSUR in an exclusive interview.

Nevertheless, the popular Brazilian leader may be prohibited from running for re-election if his conviction is upheld by judge Sergio Moro, another possible presidential hopeful. If so, Datafolha’s poll also indicates that 26 percent of voters would back any candidate endorsed by Lula.

Angola: Election2017 – CNE Congratulates MPLA

Source:  AllAfrica.com
September 7 2017

angola votes aug 2017 3.jpgThe National Electoral Commission (CNE) congratulated on Wednesday the ruling MPLA party for its victory in the country’s fourth general election.

CNE charperson André da Silva Neto congratulated the MPLA after announcing the final results of the electoral process.

“To the winning political force I express sincere congratulations, convinced that it has earned the confidence of most of the voters and that it will do its best to fulfill the wishes of the Angolans, who proudly celebrate the victory, without defeat for defeated political forces”, he emphasized.

So, the MPLA elects its candidates for President of the Republic, João Lourenço, and Vice President of the Republic, Bornito de Sousa Baltasar Diogo.

Bornito de Sousa  and João Lourenço,.jpgBornito de Sousa and João Lourenço,

The MPLA also obtains a qualified majority, achieving 150 of the 220 MPs to the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the CNE president extended his congratulations to the other competing political forces for participating in the party of democracy, appealing them to keep serene and respect the will of citizens expressed at the polls.

It is necessary to know how to lose with “dignity and humility” and to prepare well the next election, to take place in five years, according to the Constitution, he warned.

Angola is a rule of law state and defeated parties have the option of asserting their rights through legally established mechanisms and not through physical, moral or psychological threats, recalled the CNE chairperson.

On the other hand, he lamented the attitude of some competing forces, which imbued with “bad faith” sought to confuse the international community in an attempt to discredit the electoral process and the CNE’s commitment to holding credible elections.