Elections in North Korea

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
North Korea
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Elections in North Korea are held every five years. At the national level, North Koreans elect a legislature, the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA). In addition to the Supreme People's Assembly, the people elect representatives to city, county, and provincial "people's assemblies".[1][2]

All seats are won by the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland.[3] The Workers' Party of Korea dominates the Front and held 87.5% of the seats, with 7.4% for the Korean Social Democratic Party, 3.2% for the Chondoist Chongu Party, and 1.9% for independent deputies.[4] According to official reports, turnout is near 100%, and approval of the Democratic Front's candidates is unanimous or nearly so.[1]

Mansudae Grand Monument 08.JPG

Procedure[edit]

In reply to a question put forth by Michael Marshall, Li Chun Sik of North Korea stated at a meeting of the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP) of the Inter-Parliamentary Union:[5]

While candidates could be nominated by anyone, it was the practice for all candidates to be nominated by the parties. These nominations were examined by the [Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland] and then by the Central Electoral Committee, which allocated candidates to seats. The candidate in each seat was then considered by the electors in meetings at the workplace or similar, and on election day the electors could then indicate approval or disapproval of the candidate on the ballot paper.

Only one candidate appears on the ballot.[6][7] Elections are ostensibly conducted by secret ballot, and a voter may cross off the candidate's name to vote against him, but must do so in a special booth without any secrecy.[6]

Members of the Supreme People's Assembly are elected to five-year terms, and meet for SPA sessions up to ten days per year.[1] The Supreme People's Assembly elects a standing committee known as the Presidium, which exercises legislative functions when the Assembly is not in session. It also elects the Chairman of the National Defence Commission, the country's chief executive, and the Premier.

Criticism[edit]

The elections have been variously described as show elections, a type of veto election,[citation needed] or a political census.[8] Seats are uncontested (or alternatively, uncompetitive) as all candidates are chosen and won by the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland.[3][5][7]

A voter may cross off the candidate's name to vote against him, but must do so in a special booth without any secrecy; according to many North Korean defectors, such an act of defiance is too risky to even attempt.[6]

Latest election[edit]

The latest election was the first conducted under the leadership of Kim Jong-un following the death of Kim Jong-il in December 2011.

Summary of the 9 March 2014 North Korea Supreme People's Assembly election results

Party Votes (%) Seats
Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland 100.0% 687
Total 100.0% 687
Turnout: 99.97%
Source: [9]

Past elections[edit]

The last election conducted under the leadership of Kim Jong-il was held on March 8, 2009. The following day, North Korean media announced that he was unanimously re-elected to parliament, though none of his sons were among the appointments.[10] The election committee also stated that 99.98% of all registered voters took part in voting, with 100% voting for their candidate in each district.[11] All seats were won by the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland, under the control of the Worker's Party.[3]

e • d Summary of the 8 March 2009 North Korea Supreme People's Assembly election results
List Seats
Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland
687
606
50
22
6
3
Total (turnout 99.98%) 687
Source:[3][12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "DPRK Holds Election of Local and National Assemblies". People's Korea. Archived from the original on 2013-03-31. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  2. ^ "The Parliamentary System of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea" (PDF). Constitutional and Parliamentary Information. Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP) of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. p. 4. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  3. ^ a b c d Moon, Angela; Sugita Katyal, Ralph Boulton (8 March 2009). "N.Korea vote may point to Kim successor". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  4. ^ "The Parliamentary System of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea" (PDF). Constitutional and Parliamentary Information. Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP) of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. p. 5. Archived from the original on 2012-03-03. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  5. ^ a b "The Parliamentary System of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea" (PDF). Constitutional and Parliamentary Information. Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP) of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. pp. 17–18. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  6. ^ a b c "North Korea votes for new rubber-stamp parliament". Associated Press. 8 March 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "Kim wins re-election with 99.9% of the vote". The New York Times. 9 March 2009. 
  8. ^ Choe Sang-Hun (9 March 2014). "North Korea Uses Election To Reshape Parliament". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Report of the Central Election Committee on Result of Election of Deputies to the 13th SPA". Korean Central News Agency. March 11, 2014.
  10. ^ "N Korea polls 'give no clue'". Press Association. 9 March 2009. 
  11. ^ "N Korea's Kim wins parliamentary seat: official media". AFP. 9 March 2009. 
  12. ^ "IPU PARLINE Database: Choe Go In Min Hoe Ui". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 

External links[edit]