HAVANA, February 25 (RIA Novosti) - Cuban lawmaker Esteban Lazo was elected on Sunday to preside over Cuba’s unicameral parliament, the National Assembly of the People's Power, the Cuban TV reported.
Lazo, 69, was elected through direct and secret vote at a session attended by 606 lawmakers out of 612 who received their mandates as a result of the general elections earlier this month. Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and his younger brother Raul, the current head of state and government, attended the event.
Lazo's predecessor Ricardo Alarcon, 75, headed the legislature for more than two decades.
Former Central Election Commission chairperson Ana Maria Mari Machado took over as vice president of the parliament, and Miriam Brito as the secretary of the Cuban legislature.
The parliament, which convenes twice a year, is now entitled to elect the country’s leadership for a new five-year term until 2018. The make-up of the 31-member Council of State, which represents the parliament between its sessions, is to be announced soon.
The Council of State chairman is the head of the state and the council of ministers. It was held by Fidel Castro in 1976-2006, who then delegated his post to his younger brother. Raul Castro was officially elected to head the Council of State on February 24, 2008.