Not one North Korean voted against the well-known “tyrant” Kim Jong-un on the ballots in his district, and he was elected to the highest legislative body in North Korea. Of course, he ran uncontested during the first elections to the Supreme People’s Assembly legislature.
Kim’s district, which is located on the symbolic Mount Paekdu, recorded 100 percent turnout during Sunday’s elections, without a single dissenting ballot, according to state media.
“This is an expression of all the service personnel and people’s absolute support and profound trust in Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un as they single-mindedly remain loyal to him,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency said, according to an Associated Press news agency report.
In previous elections, 687 deputies were chosen, however, this is first time the election had been held since Kim inherited power after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011.
The leader can now add MP to his many titles, including Supreme Commander of the armed forces and chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission.
The hitch – voting is obligatory, and participation in the vote is deemed ritualistic. To ensure a full turnout, mobile ballot boxes have been created to cater to those who were ill and could not travel to balloting stations, the KCNA had reported.
To motivate those who might not want to participate, poems were produced to celebrate voting under titles including “The Billows of Emotion and Happiness” and “We Go To Polling Station”.
But just so the election process is clear, electors approve 687 deputies, but they are not allowed to choose who represents them in the “rubber-stamp” legislature. Voters can only say yes or no to a single candidate for each district.
And, knowing how execution crazy Kim is, not many are going to vote no in full sight. “If you vote no, you need to – very publicly – enter a separate booth, and that is something very few are willing to risk,” Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker said.
Political analysts will be watching closely to see if the deputies this time around represent a younger generation as Kim looks to solidify his power and replace older cadres with younger, more loyal ones.
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