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Miguel Diaz-Canel officially nominated to take helm of Cuba’s State Council

April 18, 2018, 20:02 UTC+3

Under the Cuban Constitution, the president of the State Council is the head of state and government

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© V. Shirokov/TASS

HAVANA, April 18. /TASS/. Miguel Diaz-Canel has been nominated at Wednesday’s session of the Cuban National Assembly for the post of the country’s State Council leader.

Cuba’s new National Assembly (single-house parliament) gathered on Wednesday for its first session at Havana’s Palace of Congresses for electing a successor of the current president of the country’s State Council, Raul Castro.

The session will last for two days. On Wednesday, the legislators will elect the legislature’s leadership and then, the president, first deputy president and another 29 members of the State Council.

Under the Cuban Constitution, the president of the State Council is the head of state and government. The State Council’s makeup and the name of the new head of state will be announced on Thursday.

Raul Castro has led the State Council since 2008, when he replaced his elder brother, leader of the Cuban revolution Fidel Castro (1926-2016). Raul Castro, 86, has said more than once he has no intention of seeking a third five-year term.

Observers are unanimous that the first deputy president of the State Council and Council of Ministers, Miguel Diaz-Canel, 57 (number two in Cuba’s power hierarchy) is slated for the highest post.

However, according to various media reports and expert estimations, Raul Castro could remain the leader of Cuba’s Communist Party - the country’s sole official political party - at least until 2021.

Raul Castro in March was reelected in March as a member of the country’s parliament. He is attending the ongoing parliamentary session, which is being broadcast live on air. However, no foreign correspondents, except for photographers and TV cameramen, are allowed at the parliamentary session.

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