Fidel Castro to vote for successor from home

February 25th, 2008 - 12:36 am ICT by admin  

Havana, Feb 24 (DPA) Ailing Cuban President Fidel Castro was set to relinquish his position as a member of the new National Assembly and elect his successor from a secret location where he is recovering from an unspecified intestinal problem. Castro, 81, announced Tuesday that he would neither “aspire to” nor “accept” the positions of president and commander-in-chief, which he has held for decades.

The 614 members of Cuba’s National Assembly, elected Jan 20 and including both Fidel Castro and his younger brother and acting Cuban leader Raul Castro, met Sunday to elect the members of the country’s 31-member Council of State. The council’s president is the Cuban head of state and head of government.

Two members of the outgoing Council of State had visited “comrade Fidel to validate his election certificate as legislator and take his oath”, Maria Esther Reus, president of the National Electoral Commission, said.

The move was approved by the new National Assembly amid applause.

Raul Castro, 76, Cuba’s long-time defence minister, is seen as the favourite to head Cuba. On Sunday, he was present at the first session of the new legislature at the Palacio de Convenciones in Havana, wearing a dark suit and tie.

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