The people of the Communist state of North Korea are today invited to elect deputies to the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly. A total of 687 deputies will be elected from single-member constituencies, and will serve five-year terms in the country’s rubber-stamp legislature.
There will, however, only be one candidate in each constituency, and the Daily Telegraph reports that ballot papers will contain only one box for electors to tick. If anyone wishes to vote against a candidate, they must enter a special booth to cross out the candidate’s name. Voting is compulsory for all North Koreans.
Running for this first time in these elections will be North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who was selected for the Mount Paektu constituency. The district contains the mountain where his father, Kim Jong-il, was born, according North Korean legend.
It is understood that a third of candidates in these elections are running for the first time, with Kim Jong-un turfing out members of the old guard and replacing them with new figures more loyal to him.
Despite the careful choreography behind these elections, there have been reports of acts of opposition to the regime. In the city of Jongju, a notice board was torn down. This may seem like a trivial act, but it is extremely rare for the totalitarian state.
Polling stations throughout the country are now under surveillance.