Cuba: Raul Castro's Presidency Prolonged By National Assembly

December 25, 2017

The Cuban National Assembly announced on last Thursday that it was extending its legislative period to April 18, 2018. The move effectively changes the end date of Cuban president Raul Castro's tenure. The decision was made due to the "exceptional situation" created by Hurricane Irma's impact on the island this September, which caused significant infrastructure damage and left ten people dead.

When Castro began his second term as president in 2013, he pledged that it would be his last. The leader said he would retire at the end of the current legislative period, which was initially slated to end on February 24, 2018. The new timeline delays the historic transition of presidential power by two months.

General elections for the National Assembly typically follow the expiration of the legislative period. Cubans will elect the 600 members of the legislative body, which will then select the powerful 31-member Council of State, whose leader will become the next president.