Cuba postpones elections to Nov after Hurricane Irma

Mr Raul Castro became president of Cuba in 2008 and is expected to step down in February.
Mr Raul Castro became president of Cuba in 2008 and is expected to step down in February.

HAVANA • Cuba's State Council has decided to postpone for one month municipal polls that will eventually lead to the election of a successor to President Raul Castro.

The first phase of the general election process, previously scheduled for Oct 22, will be held on Nov 26, as a result of damage caused to the Caribbean nation by Hurricane Irma last week.

Irma battered central Cuba, knocking down power lines, uprooting trees and ripping the roofs off homes as it headed towards Florida. The Cuban authorities said they had evacuated more than a million people as a precaution, including about 4,000 in the capital.

The elections were rescheduled so that state institutions and the people can focus on recovery efforts, said an official statement read on Cuban state TV on Monday.

The polls will elect councils or delegates and are the first in a series of votes for local, provincial and, finally, national officials.

Mr Raul Castro, 86, the brother of late president Fidel Castro, became president in 2008 and is expected to step down in February.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2017, with the headline 'Cuba postpones elections to Nov after Hurricane Irma'. Print Edition | Subscribe