North Korea announced on June 9th that it
will hold local elections on the 19th of next month. This election will be the
first of its type since Kim Jong Un came to power.
Elections for provincial, district, and county people’s assemblies will take place on “July 19, Juche 104 (2015) in accordance with Article 139 of
the Socialist Constitution and decisions of the local people’s committees,”
North Korea’s state media outlet Korean Central News Agency [KCNA] reported on
The elections are held every four years,
with the number of representatives determined by the population of a given jurisdiction. Local arms of the People’s Committee hold the authority to convene meetings to discuss and implement administrative plans and matters concerning some aspects of economic development.
The most recent election for local people’s
assemblies was held on July 24th, 2011, with KCNA reporting at the time that
“apart from citizens living or working abroad, 99.7% of eligible citizens voted.”
Defectors report that most people’s
assembly branch representatives are from families of laborers, farmers, and
clerks. While they have some authority and leeway, the virtual clout they wield
is overwhelmingly limited.