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North Koreans are voting 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.

Citizens are required to show complete devotion to the family and its current leader.

So how does it work?

On election day, the entire population aged 17 or older must come out and vote.

"As a sign of loyalty you’re expected to turn up early, that means there’ll likely be long queues," says North Korea analyst Fyodor Tertitsky, who is based in the South Korean capital Seoul.

Once it’s your turn, you receive a ballot paper with just one name on it. There’s nothing to fill in, no boxes to tick. You take that paper and put it into the ballot box, which is located in the open.

There’s also a voting booth where you could vote in private, but doing that would raise immediate suspicion, analysts say.

You theoretically have the right to cross out that single candidate. But, according to Mr Tertitsky, doing that would almost certainly mean the secret police go after you and you likely would be declared insane.

The Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) is a rubber-stamp body with no power.

Elected every five years, the parliament is the only legislative body North Korea has.

The Workers Party, of which Kim Jong-un is the chairman, is by far the biggest but a few seats are usually held by two other parties, the Social Democratic party and the Chondoist Chongu party.

In practice, there is no difference between the three parties and they’re all grouped together in the Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea.

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