Pure Formality: North Korea Chooses A New Parliament

Only one constituent nominated by the ruling Workers’ Party usually appears in the constituency. Voters can only vote yes or no.

The North Koreans elect Kim Jong-un as a new Supreme People’s Assembly for the second time since the seizure of power more than seven years ago. After the start of Sunday morning elections, almost 57 percent of voters would have voted by noon, state media reported.

“All voters participate as a unit in the election for the benefit of the socialist country,” it said. The elections to the People’s Assembly, the North Korean parliament, are considered a formality. Only one constituent nominated by the ruling Workers’ Party usually appears in the constituency. Voters can only vote yes or no in their district. The current 687 members, including the ruler, were elected five years ago. The election result was announced two days later.

Observers assume that the elections of the internationally isolated leadership serve to strengthen the internal cohesion. North Korea is subject to tough UN sanctions for its nuclear weapons program. A second summit meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump at the end of February in Hanoi had left no final statement. There was no agreement on the key issues of nuclear disarmament in North Korea and US rebates.

The Supreme People’s Assembly is formally the highest state organ. However, MEPs usually meet only once or twice a year. The meetings ratify decisions of the state leadership that have largely been made in advance.

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