Cuba brings forward assembly session to select president – media

Cuba is bringing forward the start of the national assembly session where a new president to succeed Raul Castro will be selected, Cuban state-run Radio Rebelde said on Monday.

The new assembly, selected in a March vote, had originally been set to meet on Thursday but will now start its “constitutive session” at 0900 ET (1300 GMT) on Wednesday.

The change was to “facilitate the development of the steps that a session of such importance requires,” Radio Rebelde said on its website. It did not say how long the gathering would last.

Castro, 86, has said he will step down as president at the next assembly session, after completing two successive five-year mandates. The man expected to succeed him is First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, 57.

Diaz-Canel would be the first president since Cuba’s leftist 1959 revolution to be born after it. Castro, who formally took over the presidency 10 years ago from his brother, Fidel Castro, will remain head of the Communist Party, Cuba’s sole political party.