North Korea goes for Parliamentary polls

North Koreans voted to elect the country's rubber-stamp parliament, the second such election since Kim Jong-un took power.

Voting for the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) is mandatory and there's no choice of candidates. Any kind of dissent is unheard of. Turnout is always close to 100% and approval for the governing alliance is unanimous. North Korea is an isolated state, ruled by the Kim family dynasty. Leader Kim Jong-un’s ruling Workers’ Party has an iron grip on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Every five years, it holds an election for the rubber stamp legislature, known as the Supreme People’s Assembly. The exercise has all the trappings of votes elsewhere, from electoral rolls to sealed ballot boxes to scrutineers for the count.

But in keeping with one of Pyongyang’s most enduring slogans — “single-minded unity” — there is only one approved name on each of the red voting slips. There is only a single candidate registered for each constituency and, under North Korean law, citizens can vote from the age of 17. The elections will replace those picked in the first parliamentary elections under the current leader in March 2014.

The candidates are selected by the ruling Korean Workers' Party and a couple of other smaller coalition parties - Social Democratic and Chondoist Chongu - that have seats in the assembly but exercise little independent power.