PROCLAMATION OF A NEW CONSTITUTION IN CUBA
Dr. Ramón de la cruz Ochoa.
On the 10th April 2019, the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba was proclaimed and put into place. For this, intensive study was done and the conclusion was reached that rather than constitutional reform, Cuba needed a new constitution which would update the economic and social order and would entrench the principles of the State structure and the application of citizen rights and guarantees, considering not only the present but also the future of the country.
To this end, a Commission was created of 33 deputies who were to work on the blueprint of the new Magna Carta.
The first version of the project was presented to the National Assembly of People’s Power to be analysed, after a lengthy debate a new text was approved and it was put forward for public consultation. In that, across the length and width of all the national territory, 9 million people, freely expressing their views, actively participated. There were over 1.7 million interventions, making the public a real constructor of the Constitution, accounting for almost 60% of the variations to the text presented.
Last December, the National Assembly approved the new Constitution and in accordance with the provisions, agreed to submit it to Referendum, which took place on February 24 of this current year. I can point out with certainty that the majority of Cubans who exercised their right to vote form part of the generations born after 1 January 1959. On the day of the elections, 90% of the people with voting rights went to the polls and of these 86.85% voted YES to the Constitution, which represents 78.3% of the total number of citizens with the right to vote. It should be noted that 95.85% of the ballots were valid and only 9% voted against.
Once the new Constitution has been signed, immediate work should begin, such as –
Approval of a new electoral law, after which Parliament shall select a National Electoral Commission.
The Assembly will elect its President, Vice President and Secretary, within 3 months of the approval of the National Electoral Commission. It will also elect the other members of the Council of State, the President and Vice President of the Republic. Once the new President of the Republic is selected, he or she will present the new Government to the National Assembly of People’s Power and this Government shall designate the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, the Secretary and remaining members of the Council of Ministers. .
For the coming year, that is, the beginning of 2020, elections should be held for Governors and Deputy Governors of each province, and the Municipal Assemblies should select their mayors.
Finally we can affirm that the approved constitutional text is the product of the joint work of the population.