[:es]Havana, Nov 27.- Cubans massively turned out to vote at the local elections Sunday to pick up the best candidates for 168 Municipal Assemblies across the island in the first stage of an electoral process that will wind up on February 24 with Parliament choosing a new president.
The latest preliminary report on the electorate voting by 17:00 local time Sunday, indicated some 7,247,590 voters had cast their ballots for a turnout of 82,05 percent of the more than 8 million people eligible to vote, said Alina Balseiro, head of the National Electoral Commission (CEN).
There were two more hours to go before the polling stations closed.
Despite a complex election day for heavy rains in municipalities of the central and eastern regions, Balseiro said communication links and transportation worked well, and reports were sent on time.
Polling stations closed by 19:00 local time and vote counting began right after. Voters were invited to witness the process.
CEN noted that for this first round of elections for delegates to the municipal assemblies more than 24,300 polling stations were opened, and more than 8 million Cubans were summoned to the polls to elect 12,515 municipal councillors.
Of the 27,221 candidates in the ballots, women made up 35.40 percent, while young people, 19.49.
For December 3 is scheduled the runoff vote in those constituencies in which none of the candidates obtained more than 50 percent of the valid votes. (PL) [:]