May Cuba's legislature be a snapshot of the country, of our men and women of goodwill, although all may not be there; may there be university students, workers, youth, and also those who have brought us thus far; may the humble be there, and may the vocation to serve always be present...
Beginning with this concept, Gisela Duarte Vázquez, president of the National Candidature Commission, told Granma about the group of nominees for deputy to the National Assembly of People's Power, who will be elected by the people this coming March 11, along with delegates to Provincial Assemblies.
Of the 605 candidates for deputy nominated January 21, 47.4% are municipal delegates elected by constituencies, thus ensuring that all of the countries municipalities will be represented in the national body with at least two deputies, one directly from the municipal level.
Duarte reported that also taken into consideration, in selecting candidates, was the principle of reaffirmation and renovation of the current legislature. In this sense, 338 deputies will be serving at this level for the first time, of the rest, 148 are nominated for a second term. Meanwhile, women make up 53.22% of the total, situating Cuba as the legislature with the second highest percentage of female members worldwide, surpassed only by Rwanda, with 61.3%.
According to Duarte, also up is the number of youth between 18 and 35 years of age, who represent 13.2 % of the candidates, while the average age for the entire group is 49. She likewise highlighted that 40.66% are Black or mixed race; and more than 86% have completed university studies, with the rest having reached the secondary level.
In terms of representing the country's principal productive sectors and service providers, especially those of strategic importance to economic development, she emphasized that 234 candidates are directly linked to either production, non-state forms of economic management, healthcare, research, or education, as well as agricultural workers and small farmers in cooperatives. In her opinion, it was equally important to consider workers in the areas of culture, communications, and sports, as well as those active in religious institutions and social organizations.
A total of 133 candidates have responsibilities in the People's Power system at other levels, 72.3% of these serving as presidents of neighborhood People's Councils or Municipal Assemblies - meaning that they are working directly with the population. The candidature likewise includes leaders of grassroots organizations, student groups, the Party, and the Young Communists League, with individuals from national leadership bodies as well as local activists. The Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior are also represented.
Duarte reiterated, "To reach the figure of 605, the candidature commissions carried out a complex selection process that began with the more than 12,000 proposals which emerged from 904 leadership plenums of mass organizations held throughout the country."
She commented, "Being proposed implies recognition in itself, and this was the point of departure to be selected as a pre-candidate. On this occasion, the 605 finally nominated as candidates, this past January 21, (by Municipal Assemblies) emerged from the plenums, and if a numerical analysis is done, for each slot, approximately 20 proposals needed to be examined, which, we know, were not the only ones that could have been included."
Moreover, she emphasized, prior to the Municipal Assemblies' nomination sessions, "The pre-candidates were discussed with 99% of the 12,515 constituency delegates, a very thorough process that led to changes in some proposals."
Those elected, with their vocation to serve, not only represent the face of the people, but will also reflect our broad diversity and the unity which gives their work meaning.