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General Elections underway in Cuba

Havana, March 11 (RHC)-- From seven o clock in the morning through six o´clock in the evening, Cubans are participating in the general elections.

Election officials and voters had to wake up earlier today, since the clocks were advanced one hour with the implementation of the Daylight Saving Time.

Over 8 million voters are expected to participate in this second stage of the elections to choose 605 deputies to the National Assembly of Peoples Power—the National Parliament—  and the members of the provincial assemblies.

According to official data, this year's candidates are on average 49 years old and about 53.6 percent of them are women.

Candidates need at least 50 per cent of the votes in their district to win.

In November last year, Cuban voters selected 12,515 delegates to municipal assemblies at the first stage of the general elections.

Earlier this Sunday, President Raul Castro cast his ballot in a polling station in the Second Front Municipality, in Santiago de Cuba province.

The new legislature resulting from today´s elections will be sworn in on April 19th. On that day, the new president, vice president and secretary of the National Assembly will be elected.

Assembly members are elected for five-year terms, and are charged with selecting the Council of State, which consists of one president, one first vice president, five vice presidents, one secretary and 23 other members.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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