North Korea reported a perfect turnout on Sunday for its first national election in five years to confirm state-selected representatives for its rubber-stamp parliament. The election, the first under dictator Kim Jong Un, provides the state with a chance to buttress the leadership by elevating or demoting officials based on their loyalty to the regime. It is also used as an unofficial census, allowing the government to check on the whereabouts of its citizens. Defectors say that some North Koreans return to the country for the election to avoid the state learning of their absence.
Only one candidate appears on ballot papers in a closely monitored exercise that ensures no dissent. As of Sunday evening no results were announced but in the previous election five years ago all the candidates were reported to have received 100% support.
State media said that by the 6 p.m. deadline “all electors registered on the lists of voters went to the polls,” except for those abroad or at sea.
North Korean media reported on Mr. Kim casting his vote for one of the almost 700 members of the Supreme People’s Assembly, which meets infrequently to give the appearance of a consensus on decisions taken by the regime.
Full Article: North Korea’s Fake Election – Wall Street Journal – WSJ.com.