SEOUL (AFP) — Leader Kim Jong-Il has been unanimously elected to a seat in North Korea’s parliament following a 100 percent turnout, state media said Monday.
Sunday’s elections for the rubber-stamp Supreme People’s Assembly featured only one pre-approved candidate in each constituency. But analysts are watching them for clues about an eventual transition of power in the impoverished communist nation.
Kim, 67, was standing in military constituency 333, a lucky number in Korean. The new assembly will vote later to confirm him as chairman of the National Defence Commission, the country’s most powerful body.
The central election committee said “all the voters of Constituency No. 333 participated in the election and voted for Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army Kim Jong-Il,” the official Korean Central News Agency reported.
“This is the expression of all servicepersons’ and people’s absolute support and profound trust in Kim Jong-Il,” it added.
There’s something pathologically interesting in the way that one-party dictatorships like North Korea do their best to maintain the fiction of being a state where the will of the people actually means anything. We used to see the same thing in the former Soviet Union and it’s its Warsaw Pact allies, and you see it still today in nations like Saudi Arabia.
At the very least, it seems to me to be an admission that Western democratic values have won the day in some sense. After all, why would the North Koreans go through the farce of an election if it wasn’t to pretend to themselves and the rest of the world that they actually were a “democratic” state ?