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In North Korea's voting, there were votes against candidates for deputies in local assemblies in the last local elections.

Source: Tanjug
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Tanjug/AP Photo/Cha Song Ho
Tanjug/AP Photo/Cha Song Ho

It is the first such case in the last few decades, reports Yonhap.

A total of 27,858 workers, peasants, intellectuals and officials were elected as new members of local provincial assemblies, cities and counties in Sunday's local elections, according to a Central Election Commission report published by North Korea's official KCNA news agency.

Voter turnout was 99.63 percent.

Among the voters who voted, 99.91 percent voted for the candidates for deputies in the provincial assemblies, and 0.09 percent voted against them, reports KCNA.

As for deputies in the city and district assemblies, 99.87 percent voted for the elected candidates, and 0.13 percent voted against them.

The Unification Ministry in Seoul said in a statement that North Korea's state media reported on dissenting votes in local elections for the first time since the 1960s.

In the 1950s there were reports of voting where support for the nominated candidates was below 100 percent during two local election processes.

Elections in North Korea are seen in many countries as a formality, as candidates are chosen by the ruling Workers' Party.

In the elections for deputies in local assemblies in July 2019, the turnout was 99.98 percent, and 100 percent of voters voted for the candidates. In March of the same year, North Korea reported 99.99 percent voter turnout and 100 percent support for candidates in elections for deputies to the Supreme People's Assembly, the country's parliament.

According to the South Korean ministry, Pyongyang is placing two separate ballot boxes of different colors at polling stations - one to support the proposed candidates and the other to oppose the proposal, a move that compromises the principle of secret ballot because it is easy to determine whether people are voting for or against.

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