HAVANA, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- More than 8 million Cubans will go to the polls on Sunday to elect the delegates of municipal assemblies.
"The national electoral system is ready," said Alina Balseiro, president of the Cuban National Electoral Commission (NEC).
The NEC chief said all the necessary measures have been taken to guarantee the success of the electoral process.
Over 8.5 million eligible Cubans out of the 11.2-million population are to vote and choose among 32,183 candidates, nominated by the people in their residential districts.
A total of 14,537 delegates will be elected in the 169 municipal assemblies in the island country.
Ruben Perez, secretary of the National Electoral Commission, said the vote will be free, voluntary and secret.
"Any Cuban citizen over 16 years old, regardless of their income level, political belief, religion or sexual preference, may be nominated by their neighbors to be their representative," Perez said.
"Our system is completely transparent and we defend it like this. We think it is very democratic," he said.
"It's a different concept: no deputies represent any political interest, only society itself," he added.
The authorities also claimed that, with such a system, a common citizen could access to State and government positions without electoral campaigns or financial support from political parties.
The entire electoral process in the country is devoid of party slogans, ads or logos. The only publicity is the paper sheets with biographies and photos of the candidates placed in central locations of each constituency.
The elections will start on Sunday at 7:00 local time (1200 GMT) and close at around 18:00 (2300 GMT).
A second round of elections will be held one week later in the constituencies where none of the candidates obtain more than 50 percent of the valid votes.
The official media stressed that participation in the elections is important as the country is involved in transforming the so-called People's Power System.
These partial elections are part of the general elections to be held in 2013, when members of the provincial assemblies and national deputies of the unicameral parliament will be appointed for five years and President Raul Castro is expected to be re-elected.