Kim Skips 2019 Elections for North Korea's Rubber-Stamp Parliament

Local Elections Flourish Despite Absence of National Assembly Vote

Regular Parliamentary Elections Held for Representation

North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, did not stand for election to the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) in 2019, marking a break from his predecessors. The SPA is known as a “rubber-stamp” parliament, as its decisions are largely predetermined by the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK).

Local elections, however, have been held in North Korea since 1999. These elections allow voters to choose local government officials, such as county and city representatives. While these local elections provide some semblance of popular participation, they are ultimately controlled by the WPK, ensuring that all candidates are approved by the party.

General parliamentary elections for the SPA have been held at roughly five-year intervals since 1990. In these elections, voters can choose from a list of candidates approved by the WPK. The SPA then meets for a few days each year to approve decisions that have already been made by the WPK.

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