The day India came up with poll dates, North Korea went to election; yes, you heard it right!
Pyongyang, March 11: On Sunday, the election schedule of the world's largest democracy - India - was announced. The election will go on for a month-and-half and over seven phases as the country of 130 billion people will choose its next government.
In a matter of irony, on the day the Election Commission of India announced the dates of the parliamentary election in the country starting April 11, the country of North Korea went to its parliamentary election - the second such instance since its current supreme leader Kim Jong-un took office in December 2011 on the death of his father Kim Il-Sung.
Even though the hermit kingdom is known for the family rule it is under for several decades now, voting for the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) is a must though there is no choice of candidates and any kind of dissent is not heard of. The turnout as a result is 100 per cent and the approval for the ruling alliance is universal.
North Korea allows anybody in the population aged 17 or more to cast ballots. "As a sign of loyalty you're expected to turn up early, that means there'll likely be long queues," North Korea analyst Fyodor Tertitskiy, based in the South Korean capital Seoul, was quoted as saying by BBC.
The voter receives a ballot paper with just one name on it (it needs no explanation). He/she has to take the paper and put it into the ballot box kept in the open. The process is complete and the dictatorship continues.
On paper, a voter can strike out the name of that single candidate but in reality, that is something only an insane would do.
After casting the ballot, the voters are expected to join those cheering and celebrating outside for being happy over the fact that they could cast their votes to the country's wise leadership.
The SPA is a rubber-stamp parliament with zero power. It just formally approves the laws that are written by party apparatus.
There is only one party in North Korea but three different factions in the alliance though they have no differences.
The result of Sunday's election is expected in a few days' time though the conclusion is foregone.