Cuba: New Constitution to Be Proclaimed by April 10

(TELESUR) – 85.86 percent voted yes for the new constitution while nine percent voted against it.

According to the result, 7,522,569 people voted Sunday i.e, 73.31 percent of the total electorate and 84.41 percent of the accepted votes. Out of this 198,674 votes i.e., 2.53 percent were blank votes, and 127,100 votes i.e., 1.62 percent votes were canceled.

The result showed that 6,816,169 voters voted in favor of the Constitution which represents 73.31 percent of the total voter pool but 86.85 percent of the updated list after counting out blank votes and canceled votes.

The new version of the constitution keeps the Communist Party as the only legal party and maintains its role as the guide of the nation, stating that this is irrevocable. At the same time, it eliminates a ban on the use of private property to exploit the labor of others and promotes foreign investment.

The new version reinforces the state’s dominance over the means of production and land, as well as the role of centralized planning.

The president of the nation, who is elected every five years by the national assembly, may serve only two consecutive terms and must be under 60 years of age when first taking office.

The new version adds the presumption of innocence in criminal cases and the right to a lawyer immediately upon arrest and habeas corpus. However, the judicial system remains unchanged and all lawyers are government employees.

The final draft of this new Constitution, which includes 229 articles, was approved by the Cuban National Assembly on Dec. 22, 2018, after three months of public forums where all citizens were invited to contribute the final document.