Elections for 12th Term Delegates to Supreme People’s Assembly

[imText1]It has been announced privately that North Korea will hold elections for 12th term delegates to the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) on 3 August.

On 19 June in a telephone interview with the Daily NK, a source revealed that “the news that the elections for delegates to the Supreme People’s Assembly will be held on 3 August has been reported to the People’s Units in Hoiryeong, North Hamkyung Province.”

The source added that “The authorities there held political lectures, in which they stated that residents should create a fresh atmosphere in villages and streets and arouse new reforms in every field of the people’s economy in order to treat elections to the Supreme People’s Assembly as a great festival.”

According to the North Korean constitution, the SPA is nominally the highest authority in the country, the equivalent of the National Assembly in South Korea. However, in practical terms it is nothing but a rubber-stamp parliament for National Defense Commission decisions.

The SPA consists of 687 delegates, each elected as a representative of a city district, a county, or a local district. Even the Chongryon (General Association of North Korean Residents in Japan) elects delegates. An election district is made up of an area in which 30,000 people live, and the term of office for representatives is five years. Kim Jong Il himself was elected as the delegate of election district number 649 at the 11th term delegate election of Supreme People’s Assembly.

Daily NK’s source said that North Korea will hold the 12th term elections to the SPA and keep Kim Jong Il as the Chairman of the National Defense Commission after the election.

In North Korea there is universal sufferage for all people over 17 years of age. Elections are managed by election committees organized by each provincial People’s Unit.

Candidates are selected through a cursory candidate recommendation meeting of the Party committee of each election district, under the auspices of the Workers’ Party. Therefore, the delegate election is no more than a vote of confidence for the recommended candidate and is characterized by “100 per cent favorable votes, with a 100 per cent voting rate.”

North Korea’s state media has not released an official report of the upcoming election at this time.