Cuba - Political and electoral system

Political and administrative structure

Cuba is a unitary republic (Art. 1 of the Constitution). The political-administrative division is structured on the geographical space of the Cuban archipelago in 15 provinces, 168 municipalities and the special municipality of the Isla de la Juventud. The municipality is the local government, with jurisdiction over all legal effects, organized politically by law, in a territorial extension determined by the necessary economic and social relations of its population, and with the ability to satisfy the minimum local needs (Art. 102 of the Constitution). The Cuban political system is a one-party system and it is distinguished by the fact that the party is not an active subject to the electoral process; it does not public candidates. The organizations that make up the Candidacy Commission are comprised into electoral subjects, so as to allow the active participation of all the popular sectors combined a plurality of interests and strengthening the role of civil society, in the reproduction of consensus and thus are called by law to proposed precandidates, in the absence of political parties.

National parliament

La Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular es el órgano supremo del poder del Estado, es el único órgano con potestad constituyente y legislativa en la República. Está integrada por diputados elegidos por el voto libre, igual, directo y secreto de los electores, en la proporción y según el procedimiento que determina la ley. Conforme el artículo 109 de la Constitución de la República, dentro de las atribuciones de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular corresponde elegir al presidente y al vicepresidente de la República. Actualmente se encuentra compuesto de 470 diputados y diputadas.

Municipal government

Municipal Assemblies and Popular Councils The posts of the Municipal Assemblies are renewed every two years through direct popular vote and can be revoked (Art. 112 of the Constitution). The Assembly elects the President and Vicepresident. For its functioning, permanent working commissions are created and decisions are made by simple majority vote. The Popular Council is an entity of local popular power with a representative character, invested with the highest authority for the performance of their duties. Comprises a specific territory, supports the Municipal Assembly of Popular Power in the exercise of their duties and enables greater knowledge and attention of the needs and interests of its respective population (Law 91 of 2000). The Popular Councils are created in cities, towns, neighbourhoods, villages and rural areas. Each Popular Council is comprised of at least five districts. Exceptionally, it may have a low number of districts if they are far from populated centres, lack of communication or other justified causes. The President of the Popular Council, as well as the Vicepresident, are elected between the district delegates that it composes. When necessary, the President of the Municipal council may make proposals for these posts. The election is conducted through ordinary voting and are elected by majority vote of the delegates that make up the Popular Council.

Duration of terms

Two and a half years for Municipal Assemblies; five year for Provincial Assemblies and the National Assembly.

Representation system

Majority electoral system. The candidates for delegates to the Municipal Assemblies of Popular Power and the Popular Councils are proposed by the electorate. Once the elected Municipal Assembly of Popular is established, the candidature to occupy the posts of President and Vicepresident of the Municipal Assembly of Popular Power is comprised of two selected candidates between the delegates of the Assembly itself. The delegates choose by secret ballot their President and Vicepresident, and after these have been elected, the President of the Municipal Electoral Commission bestows their respective authority (Electoral Law Art. 130 to 134).

Type of list

Open list.

Electoral constituency

The electoral district is the base and fundamental aspect of the system of Popular Power. It is a territorial division of the municipality. The number of electoral districts of a municipality is determined for each election by the Provincial Electoral Commission by the respective Municipal Electoral Commission, based on the number of inhabitants of the municipality, so that the number of delegates is never less than thirty (Electoral Law, Art. 12).

Quota and parity laws


Legal instruments applicable to municipalities

Constitution of the Republic of Cuba (Chap. XII, art. 106).

Electoral Justice

The Electoral Law of the Republic of Cuba (Law 72 of 1992) organizes, directs and validates the electoral processes that are celebrated with the aim of covering the elected posts in the entities of Popular Power, as well as their composition. To hold referendums, the following electoral commission are created: a) National Elend regulate civil status issues. It is also responsible for penalizing non-compliance.