The president will then name a prime minister, chosen from among the members of the Assembly. The prime minister must be confirmed by the National Assembly, whose number of legislators will be reduced from 605 to 474 by the new law.
Direct nominations in Cuba take place only at the municipal level. For all other elections, candidates are appointed by commissions, which are supervised by the Communist Party, the only political party permitted on the island nation.
In their statement, the Christian Liberation Movement called the new law a "fake change" in the system. The election process remains "exclusionary and monopolizing" and is "totally divorced from the right to freedom," the reform advocacy group said.
"The law that was passed maintains the control of the Communist Party over the nomination of the candidates through the candidacy commissions, run by the so called 'organizations of the masses' (all of them dependent on the Communist Party)," they said.
"That is the fundamental element of the fraud - to make believe that there is freedom to nominate from the grassroots, when it is already decided by the Communist Party which candidacy may or may not go forward."
The Christian Liberation Movement has called for the elimination of the Communist candidacy commissions, so as to allow for truly free elections.