North Korea to hold local elections in July

North Korea announces it will hold provincial elections in July, first under Kim Jong-un

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

North Koreans will go to the polls for local elections on July 19, the country’s state-run KCNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

It will be the first election since last year’s parliamentary elections, which leader Kim Jong-un was re-elected.

This time local assembly deputies will be selected but the competition is not expected to be stiff  as only ruling party picked candidates could run for the seats.

While North Korean elections are often dismissed by critics because of limited competition, they can also be seen as a test for local leaders, especially under the current drought conditions.

North Korea is reportedly experiencing food shortages amid unusually dry weather and the United Nations has already warned the country about the dire consequences.

Still, many believe the results of the election will give "victory" to the ruling Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland coalition, which is headed by the Workers’ Party of Korea, and the vote means no more than informal census.

The local elections are held in every four years. Turnout is expected to be high as failure to vote could bring treason charges.

TRTWorld and agencies