This is a first in 60 years. Dissenting votes were recorded during local elections in North Korea, where candidates nominated by the ruling party received “only” 99% of the votes instead of 100, according to state media.
“Among the voters who took part in the ballot, 99.91% voted for candidates for provincial people’s congresses (and) 99.87% voted for candidates for city and county people’s congresses,” said Tuesday Reutersciting the official KCNA news agency.
These results mean that 0.09% and 0.13% of voters voted against candidates selected by the Labor Party for provincial and municipal councils. This has not happened in local elections held in North Korea since the 1960s, according to an official cited by the British press agency.
Elections are generally a formality in this country, of which the company is strictly controlled. During the last local elections, in July 2019, the nominated candidates received 100% of the votes.
The electoral law there has since been revised, in August, to authorize several candidates. A facade opening, according to a report from the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, which in reality aims to “reinforce the legitimacy” of the regime in the world.
The candidate selection process thus remains closely controlled by Pyongyang, according to the report. The principle of secret voting is also not respected. For this election, two ballot boxes of different colors – green for approval, red for dissent – were placed in the polling stations.
Mandatory in this country, participation in voting also recorded a slight decline, going from 99.98% during the last elections four years ago to 99.63%.