North Koreans went to the voting stations on Sunday for an election in which there could be only one winner.
Leader Kim Jong Un’s ruling Workers’ Party has an iron grip on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as the isolated, nuclear-armed country is officially known.With portraits of the leader’s father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung looking down on every ballot box, voters lined up to drop their slips inside.
There is a pencil in the panelled voting booths for anyone who might wish to register dissent by crossing out a candidate’s name. But no one does
The North is divided into constituencies for the vote — there were 686 at the last election in 2014, when Kim stood in Mount Paektu, a dormant volcano on the border with China revered as the spiritual birthplace of the Korean people.
He received a 100 percent turnout and 100 percent in favour according to KCNA.
Some of the seats are allocated to two minor parties, the Korean Social Democratic Party and the Chondoist Chongdu Party, which has its roots in a 20th century Korean religious movement.
Sunday’s voting took place in something of a carnival atmosphere in Pyongyang, children in red neckerchiefs parading in the streets to encourage voters to attend.Bands played at polling stations, where voters lined up in numerical order according to voter lists displayed for days beforehand, and after casting their ballots women danced wearing flowing traditional dresses