(MENAFN- AzerNews) Meetings were held across North Korea for voters to meet
candidates running in the upcoming local elections, Pyongyang's
state media said Tuesday, as the reclusive regime prepares for its
first election featuring more than one candidate, Azernews reports, citing Yonhap News Agency.
On Sunday, North Korea is set to hold local elections to pick
new deputies for local assemblies of provinces, cities and counties
across the nation. In what appeared to be an intention to introduce
competition in the election system, some constituencies had fielded
two candidates for the upcoming vote.
Under the recently revised election law, the North will hold a
preliminary election to decide on a final candidate for new
deputies of local assemblies, after reviewing the qualifications of
two candidates. The final candidate will be allowed to meet with
voters during their election campaigns.
The North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said
registered candidates and voters held gatherings to discuss issues
regarding their respective constituencies in a "candid" manner,
enabling candidates to "look back on their work" under their
The KCNA also reported that Choe Ryong-hae, chairman of the
Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly, inspected
ongoing preparations for the local elections.
"He called for making sure that the people fully express their
will in the upcoming vote by well equipping the polling booths and
conducting various forms of election campaigns," it said.
The recent revision in the election law appears to be intended
to introduce competition to the election system, albeit on a
rudimentary level, as the ruling Workers' Party has so far
hand-picked one candidate per electoral district.
The local elections are held every four years, and the number of
seats is determined by the population of each area. But the
elections are widely viewed as a formality, as the candidates are
selected by the North's ruling party and rubber-stamped into
South Korea's unification ministry has said the change in the
North's election system does not indicate the introduction of free
elections in the reclusive regime and is rather seen as an attempt
to manage public opinion amid prolonged economic difficulties.
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