The new legislature to take office today, February 24, will be made up of 614 members, elected for a five-year office term in a free, direct and secret vote that took place on January 20. The number of legislators may vary from one legislature to another, depending on the amount of voters registered in each electoral district. In the last legislature there were 609.

In order to be elected to the parliament, Cuban citizens must be at least 18 years old, possess all their civil and legal rights, and receive over half the valid votes cast.

SOME OF THE MAIN FUNCTIONS OF THE PARLIAMENT

As soon as a new legislature takes office, its members elect the parliament president, vice-president and secretary. They also elect the country’s Council of State, composed of the president (head of state and government), the first vice president, five vice presidents, a secretary and 23 other members.

The legislative function is parliament’s principal mission and includes:

- Adopting reforms of the constitution in tune with article 137, which states: The constitution can only be amended by the National Assembly of People’s Power by agreement, in a nominal vote by a majority of not less than two thirds of its total membership, with the exception for the political, social and economic system whose irrevocable status is established by chapter one, and the prohibition of negotiating under aggression, threat or coercion by a foreign power.

- Adopting, modifying or abolishing laws after consulting the people.

- Making decisions related to the constitutionality of laws, decree-laws, decrees and other general regulations. Revoking, in full or in part, decree-laws passed by the Council of State. Discussing and approving national economic and social plans and the state budget.

- Adopting the principles of the planning and management system of the country’s economy; approving the monetary and credit system, as well as general foreign and domestic policy guidelines; declaring a state of war and approving peace treaties.

- Electing the members of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General and deputy attorney generals.

- Enforcing full control over all state and government bodies with the authority to revoke them.

In order to fulfill the abovementioned functions and attributions, the Cuban parliament sets up its standing commissions.

THE STANDING PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSIONS

In order to carry out its work, the Cuban parliament has both standing commissions and parliamentary friendship groups. The commissions help maintain the continuity of the parliament’s functions between sessions.

Instead of limiting their function to only having ministers and officials report on their work at each session, the commissions exert control over state and government entities and have direct contact with everyday life in Cuban society, providing citizens a vehicle to express their criteria on the country’s priority issues.

The commissions discuss each piece of legislation according to their field, during hearings attended by state and government officials and experts.

The commissions discuss each bill prior to final consideration by the parliament plenary and after consultations with different sectors of the population.

THE TEN STANDING PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSIONS

Constitutional and Juridical Issues Productive Activity Local Government Bodies Education, Culture, Science, Technology and Environment Economic Issues Health and Sports National Defense Services Youth, Children and Women’s Rights Foreign Affairs

Source
Cuban Agency News
La Agencia Cubana de Noticias (ACN) es una división de la Agencia de Información Nacional (AIN) de Cuba fundada el 21 de mayo de 1974.

Cuban News Agency