North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been elected to the country’s parliament as the only candidate on the ballot paper for his district.
The vote was unanimous, state-run media announced yesterday.
Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the 100 per cent approval from a 100 per cent turnout from his Mount Paektu constituency reflects the “absolute support” of the people in the elections for the Supreme People’s Assembly on Sunday.
North Korea usually votes once every five years to approve members of its highest legislative body. The vote is more a political ritual than an election by western standards.
It was the first time the election has been held since Mr Kim became leader, following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, in 2011.
Each of the 687 districts had one candidate running for office, with voters required to write “Yes” or “No” on the ballot paper.
KCNA said of Mr Kim’s victory: “This is an expression of all the service personnel and people’s absolute support and profound trust in supreme leader Kim Jong-un as they single-mindedly remain loyal to him.”
Results for the other seats in the assembly had not yet been announced. North Korea usually puts turnout nationwide at more than 99 per cent.
Analysts will be closely watching to see if the deputies this time around reflect a generational change as Mr Kim looks to solidify his power and replace older cadres with younger, more loyal ones.
The Supreme People’s Assembly meets rarely, often only once a year. It has little power and when it is not in session, its work is done by a smaller and more powerful body called the Presidium. The new parliament is expected to meet next month.
The last elections in North Korea were held in March 2009.
The latest poll was conducted in a holiday atmosphere, with national flags hoisted along the streets, women decked out in colourful traditional clothing and dancing in parks.
Since Mr Kim assumed power, some of North Korea’s actions have elicited condemnation from the international community.
In 2012, the successful launch of a satellite into space was judged by South Korea, Japan and the United States to be a disguised missile test, and the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution condemning the launch and tightening sanctions.
In 2013, North Korea carried out another nuclear test, resulting in fresh sanctions from the UN Security Council.