Cuba is set to resurrect the position of Prime Minister in a parliamentary session at the end of the week, with President Miguel Diaz-Canel nominating a candidate to the post which has remained dormant for more than 40
The last time the country had a Prime minister, it was the revolutionary hero, Fidel Castro who occupied the position.
The position was however abolished in 1976 when Castro transitioned to the presidency, taking over from Osvaldo Dorticos after the country’s constitution was restructured.
No one knows yet who will be nominated and consequently appointed and the general Cuban public and the world at large is in the dark as to what the role will entail.
The Cuban parliament is expected to meet on Friday and Saturday before appointing the Prime Minister based on a proposal by President Diaz-Canel.
According to the country’s new constitution which was approved in April, Diaz-Canel’s nomination must then receive an absolute majority in a National Assembly vote.
Under parameters established by Cuba’s constitution, the candidate who must come from the 605-member National Assembly must be at least 35 years, a Cuban citizen by birth and must hold no other nationality.
Analysts say predicting who will be picked from a transitional Cuban government is tricky as Diaz-Canel could choose from any one of five Vice Presidents as well as his ministers.
In Diaz-Canel’s approximately 20 months as president, he has replaced a large part of his cabinet. Only three remain from Raul Castro’s presidency.
They are Armed Forces Minister, Leopoldo Cintra Frias, Interior Minister, Julio Cesar Gandarilla and Secretary of the Council of Ministers, Jose Amado Guerra.
They say if the Prime Minister is to be chosen from among the Vice Presidents, the 55-year-old Jorge Luis Tapia who is a former regional first secretary of the Communist Party would be the likely nominee.
The appointment of the new official who will become ‘Head of Government’ for a five-year term will also have to be ratified by the omnipotent Communist Party led by former president Raul Castro.