North Confirms Local Election Date

North Korea has confirmed the date of the country’s next local People’s Committee elections. According to a report put out by Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) today, the poll is set to take place on the 24th of next month.

Citing a June 13th release put out by the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly, KCNA reported this morning, “According to Article 139 of the Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the decision of local People’s Committees, province, city and county People’s Committee delegate elections will proceed on July 24th.”

North Korea’s constitution demands that it conduct elections to local committees every four years. The last, which occurred almost exactly four years ago, in July, 2007, saw 26,635 delegates elected to various committees.

At the end of May, The Daily NK cited an inside North Korean source as suggesting that the elections were likely to be in June, and that the authorities were involved in the process of voter registration.

However, such elections are a formality, while the process of voter registration is used partly as a way to threaten the families of defectors. One inside source, reporting on the contents of a people’s unit meeting in late May, cited a security official, “He said, ‘We will punish or exile families who either fail to take part in or miss it because they are not here. Contact people who have gone to China for trade or gone to live there illegally and tell them to come back without fail.”