|© Picture: Reuters / KCNA|
In widely foreclosed North Korea place on Sunday for the first time under the reign of ruler Kim Jong-un local elections. As seen in the West as a farce elections to North Korean parliament also apply to every four-yearly local elections as a mere formality.
The voters can only vote yes or no for candidates that have been previously determined by the Workers' Party namely per municipality. The communist regime can thereby choose people's representatives at the provincial, city and county level.
Elections are to strengthen unity
In South Korea, observers assume that the elections in the neighboring country are intended primarily to strengthen the unity between the people and leadership. The official party newspaper "Rodong Sinmun" had called a week ago in an editorial for the election to "demonstrate the power of a single-minded unity in the People's Republic". In the local elections in July 2011, the turnout was, according to the state media at 99.97 percent.
Also allow elections in North Korea, according to experts in general the regime to control the population. "In times when many North Koreans to cross the border with China, go elections also with a kind of census along," said the North Korea expert at the Free University in Berlin, Eric Ball Bach, who was the end of May in the country.
Kim Jong-un since the end of 2011 in power
North Korea rarely leaves glances behind the scenes. South Korea's government suspects, however, that Kim Jong-un has repeatedly used since its takeover political purges this to consolidate its position. Kim - who is supposed to be only the beginning of 30 - the power after the death of his father Kim Jong-il had been transferred in late 2011. North Korea had announced the elections in June.