North Korea makes rare admission after local polls: Dissenting votes

November 29, 2023
56 Views



SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Tuesday made a rare mention of dissenting votes in recent elections, although analysts dismissed it as an attempt to portray an image of a normal society rather than signaling any meaningful increase of rights in the authoritarian state.

The reclusive North has one of the most highly controlled societies in the world, with leader Kim Jong Un accused of using a system of patronage and repression to retain absolute power.

Reporting on the results of Sunday’s election for deputies to regional people’s assemblies, the North’s state media said 0.09 percent and 0.13 percent voted against the selected candidates for the provincial and city councils, respectively.

“Among the voters who took part in the ballot-casting, 99.91 percent voted for the candidates for deputies to provincial people’s assemblies…. (and) 99.87 percent voted for candidates for deputies to city and county people’s assemblies,” state news agency KCNA said.

The North’s parliament and regional councils serve as a rubber stamp to the ruling Workers’ Party, with their elections usually registering over 99% voter turnout.

This month’s election marks the first time North Korea has referred to dissenting votes in local polls since the 1960s, an official at South Korea’s unification ministry handling relations with the North said.

Held every four years, the latest regional election was also the first polls since North Korea revised its election law in August to allow multiple candidates.

“The portrayal of a more democratic society, particularly in comparison to South Korea and the U.S., is aimed at reinforcing the regime’s legitimacy and authenticity on the world stage,” the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, a think tank, said in a report.

A photo released by state media showed Kim casting a ballot, standing before two boxes — one in green for approval, and the other in red for dissent.

“Discreet voting will likely remain limited as the boxes will continue to be conspicuously monitored,” the report said, adding that the candidate selection process will remain tightly controlled by Pyongyang.

The voter turnout slightly decreased to 99.63% from 99.98% four years ago, a sign analysts say could indicate a minor weakening in state control in a country where voting is considered mandatory.



Spread the love

You may be interested

Evan Gershkovich to stand trial in Russia on charges of spying for CIA
World
shares0 views
World
shares0 views

Evan Gershkovich to stand trial in Russia on charges of spying for CIA

Rajendran Achuthan - Jun 13, 2024

[ad_1] American journalist Evan Gershkovich will stand trial in Russia on charges of spying for the CIA, prosecutors announced Thursday.Gershkovich,…

Mizzy: TikTok prankster given community order after stealing woman’s phone and fleeing police | UK News
Entertainment
shares3 views
Entertainment
shares3 views

Mizzy: TikTok prankster given community order after stealing woman’s phone and fleeing police | UK News

Rajendran Achuthan - Jun 13, 2024

[ad_1] A TikTok prankster has been given a community order and ordered to pay a fine after snatching a phone…

London stock market drags itself out of economic pit as it finally turns a corner | UK | News
Top Stories
shares3 views
Top Stories
shares3 views

London stock market drags itself out of economic pit as it finally turns a corner | UK | News

Rajendran Achuthan - Jun 13, 2024

[ad_1] The London stock market has begun to recover after two miserable years, according to the stockbroker who in 2023…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.