Monday, October 22, 2007

Castro votes in Cuba's municipal elections

China View

2007-10-22 04:42:13

HAVANA, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Cuba's leader, Fidel Castro, voted in Cuba's municipal elections on Sunday, from the clinic where he has been recovering from a 2006 intestinal operation, witnessed by members of the electoral district where he is registered, state television reported.

Castro appeared on television wearing a lightweight white jacket and chatting with the electoral officials and with primary school pupils who look after the ballot boxes.

Castro praised what he described as "the high quality of the two comrades nominated in his constituency" and said the elections represent "a resounding response to the threats of (U.S. President) George Bush."

The U.S. presidency has announced that it will make new statements on Cuba policy this Wednesday.

Castro's younger brother, Raul Castro, has been running the country since July 31 last year, when illness obliged Fidel, 81, to step down.

Raul had voted earlier in the day at a polling station, also in Havana, where he greeted his Revolution Square neighbors, including Cuba's central bank president, Francisco Soberon.

Some 8.3 million Cubans are registered to vote on Sunday in the first municipal elections since Fidel handed power to Raul.

Voters will chose more than 15,000 councilors for the nation's 169 local governments, from a field of nearly 37,750. Balloting began at 7:00 a.m. local time and end at 6:00 p.m. local time.

Cuban television said at noon that nearly 3.9 million Cubans or around 37 percent of the island's voters had voted in the first two hours of polling.

Editor: Yan Liang

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