Almost 100 per cent votes cast in North Korea, Kim also votes | 2019-07-22

Almost 100 per cent votes cast in North Korea, Kim also votes

AFP

22nd July, 2019 02:23:23 printer

Almost 100 per cent votes cast in North Korea, Kim also votes

Nearly 100 per cent turnout in the nationwide local poll is claimed for every ballot held in the nuclear-armed state North Korea in which the leader Kim Jong Un voted too.

Observers say elections in North Korea are essentially a political ritual which allows the authorities to claim a popular authority, given absence of any competition among candidates while reinforcing loyalty to Kim's regime.

The 99.98 per cent turnout was a 0.01 per cent improvement on the figures registered in 2015.

Only those overseas "on foreign tour or working in oceans" were unable to vote, the North's state-run agency KCNA reported Sunday, adding that even "voters troubled with ageing or illness cast their ballots into mobile ballot boxes".

The isolated nation holds local elections every four years to elect representatives to provincial, city and county assemblies. Typically, 99 per cent of voters in the de facto single-party state take part in the polls and 99 per cent of them cast "yes" votes for uncontested candidates.

The regime keeps an eye on the high turnout as an example of its "single-minded unity" to glorify the "Korean-style people-centred socialism".

Kim visited a polling station in North Hamgyong province and voted for two candidates -- named Ju Song Ho and Jong Song Sik -- running for county assemblies in the area, KCNA reported.

He "warmly encouraged them to become the faithful servants of the people by fulfilling their duties to live up to the anticipation of the people, being aware of being the representatives of the people", KCNA said.

Kim himself ran for the rubber-stamp legislature known as the Supreme People's Assembly in 2014, managing a perfect turnout with 100 per cent of votes in his favour.


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