The Cuban parliament approved “unanimously” on Thursday to extend the mandate of the Council of State, of President Raul Castro and his vice presidents for two more months until next April.

According to an official release, the term extension is due to the damages provoked by Hurricane Irma that caused the modification of the initial electoral timetable, Xinhua news agency reported.

Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September, left 10 people dead and cost huge material losses, forcing the authorities to postpone for a month the first stage of the electoral process, scheduled in October.

The electoral process started on November 26 with the election of the municipal councillors, and “therefore, it is impossible for the next Legislature to begin its mandate on February 24, 2018 as planned,” said the news release.

In its last ordinary session of the year, headed by President Castro, the MPs agreed to extend their term until April 19, 2018.

Castro has reiterated on several occasions that he will step down as president in 2018, although he will remain as first secretary of the central committee of the ruling Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).