Millions of North Koreans, including leader Kim Jong-Un, went to the polls on Sunday to show their support for the nearly 700 members of Parliament.
More of a sign of support than a real political game, the exercise does not allow voters to choose their elected representatives: on the ballots there is only one candidate per seat, chosen by the Korean state.
Every five years, this call to the polls determines who will sit on the Supreme People’s Assembly. In principle, its elected representatives come from all over North Korea and represent all strata of society.
The Korean Workers Party, led by head of state Kim Jong-un, is responsible for the selection of candidates.
Freshly returned from Vietnam, where he met with US President Donald Trump at a summit in Hanoi, the strongman of North Korea is also in the running. Although there is no chance of his power being threatened by this seemingly democratic exercise, Kim Jong-un introduces himself to Pyongyang District.
Unsurprisingly, candidates usually win with a rate of 99% or more. In North Korea, the right to vote is seen as a duty and a responsibility of every citizen. In other words, staying at home is not an option.
Under the law, North Koreans can take part in the exercise from the age of 17.
Members chosen to sit in Parliament usually meet once or twice a year, in March or April, to approve policies already developed by the Korean Workers Party.
“Nobody votes against the [proposed] candidate,” concedes Jin Ko Chol, the chairman of a committee that monitors elections in the polling stations in the center of the capital.
“In general, everyone knows the candidate, since he has served citizens well over the past five years. So they come to show their support, “he says.
According to the government, this day is an “important occasion” to strengthen and reaffirm the power of the state, while demonstrating “the solidity and invincibility of the socialist system in which the leader, the party and the masses form a whole. harmonious “.