People’s Debate of New Cuban Constitution Nears Completion

Havana, Nov 5 (Prensa Latina) People’s consultation of the Cuban constitutional project is two weeks away from completion, a democratic exercise considered a novelty by giving citizens the right to build their own Magna Carta.

More than seven million persons have taken part in this process, referent to the world about the response of Cubans to shaping their country and a better society.

According to the secretary of the State Council, Homero Acosta, since the process started last August 13, a total of 111 thousand 872 meetings have taken place of a planned 130 thousand in neighborhoods, schools and work centers.

The end of citizens’ debate is scheduled for November 15. Until this date, almost 600 thousand proposals to change or add to the original text have been made. It was also confirmed that issues such as marriage and the figure of the President are among the parts that attracted more proposals, together with the new structure of provincial governments and legal attention.

In that sense, stands out article 68 referring to the new conception of marriage, to the voluntary union between two persons with legal aptitude for it, and number 121 that limits the mandate of the President of the Republic to two consecutive mandates, after which, the person cannot again be nominated.

Also, article 122 puts a limit to age of up to 60 years, for a person to be elected as President in a first mandate; and the referred to the responsibility to elect the President of the Republic in charge of the deputies of the People’s Power National Assembly (parliament), considered representative of the people’s interests.

What concerns the provincial governments and the designation of the provincial governors by the President of the country, as says paragraph 572 of the article 170, has also been one of the most debated issues by Cubans.

Article 31 also aroused interest, related to work as an essential value of society and main source of income; number 48 in its subsection f, indicating the right of every person to receive legal assistance to exert his or her defense; and the article 82 about the right to a dignified home.

Different from the Constitution in forcé, approved in 1976, the project includes the democratic nature of the Communist Party of Cuba and that is the people’s political organization, with social recognition in the history of the Cuban Revolution, said Homero Acosta.

Also, Yumil Rodriguez, deputy chief of the Secretary of the State Council and member of the parliamentary commission in charge of drawing up the Constitution, assured there are mechanisms to process all opinions.

He added that some proposals which will not be added to the final document, will be valuable when the time comes to translate into laws which will accompany the Constitution during the referendum of approval to be held next year.

As a distinctive aspect of previous similar processes in the island, on this occasion the opinion of Cuban residents abroad has been taken into account.

Como aspecto distintivo de anteriores procesos similares en la isla, en esta ocasión se han tenido en cuenta las opiniones de los cubanos residentes en el exterior.

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