Cuba ready for election of national leaders

Updated: 2008-02-24 08:56

HAVANA - Cuba has completed all preparations for the elections of a new president and other national leaders, the top electoral official said on Saturday.

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The elections will proceed on Sunday as scheduled, President of the National Electoral Commission and Justice Minister Maria Esther Reus told the official daily Granma.

The Cuban National Assembly of People's Power will be convened on Sunday, when the 614 deputies elected last month will be called to create the country's new legislature.

The deputies, who are to serve a five-year-term, will choose the assembly's president, vice president and secretary-general.

Under Cuba's constitution, the national assembly chooses 31 of its members to form the Council of State, whose leader will be Cuba's president.

Sunday's vote will determine the successor to retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who announced on Tuesday that he would not accept the presidency of the Council of State.

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