North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

KJI Votes Early and Often

Kim Jong Il casts his ballot in elections for local government elections in Ryo'ngso'ng District, Pyongyang on 24 July (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) participated in local elections in Ryo’ngso’ng District, Pyongyang, on 24 July (Sunday).  According to KCNA, KJI voted for Pak Hyong Ryol, a manager of the Pyongyang Cornstarch Factory, as a representative to the Pyongyang City People’s Assembly, and Kim Chol Ho, a manager of the Ryo’ngso’ng Quail Factory, as representative to the Ryo’ngso’ng District (kuyo’k) People’s Assembly.  KJI talked with the two candidates after he voted.  He was joined by CMC Members Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) and Kim Kyong Ok (Kim Kyo’ng-ok) and met at his polling place by SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop (Yang Hyo’ng-sop) and Pyongyang City KWP Committee Chief Secretary Mun Kyong Dok (Mun Kyo’ng-tok).

DPRK citizens participate in elections to local government on 24 July (Photo: KCNA)

According to Article 139 of the 2009 DPRK Constitution, “the term of office…of people’s assemblies shall be four years” which is also the term of office for local people’s committees.  Kim Jong Il last participated in local elections on 29 July 2007, but cast his ballot at a cooperative farm in Hamju County, South Hamgyo’ng Province.

Local people’s assemblies [LPA] function like the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] at the provincial (city), municipal (city district) and county levels.  LPA’s meet infrequently to approve development (economic) plans and budgets and decide personnel matters on local people’s committees.  LPA’s  also can appoint or dismiss officials of local people’s courts.  Unlike the SPA, an LPA does not have personnel power over local public prosecutor’s offices.

According to Articles 137-144 of the 2009 DPRK Constitution

Article 137. Provincial (municipality directly under the central authority), municipal (district), and county people’s assemblies are the local organs of sovereignty.

Article 138. The local people’s assemblies shall be composed of the deputies elected on the principle of universal, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

Article 139. The term of office of provincial (municipality directly under the central authority), municipal (district), and county people’s assemblies shall be four years. A new election of the local people’s assembly shall be held prior to the expiry of its term of office according to the decision of the local people’s committee at the corresponding level. When unavoidable circumstances render an election impossible, the term of office shall be extended until an election is held.

Article 140. The local people’s assembly shall have the duties and authority to:

1. Deliberate and approve local plans for the development of the people’s economy and reports on the status of their implementation.

2. Deliberate and approve local budgets and reports on their execution.

3. Establish measures to execute the laws of the state in the local area concerned.

4. Elect or recall the chairman, vice chairmen, secretary, and members of the people’s committee at the corresponding level.

5. Elect or recall judges and people’s assessors of the court at the corresponding level.

6. Rescind erroneous decisions and directives of the people’s committee at the corresponding level and of the people’s assemblies and people’s committees at lower levels.

Article 141. The local people’s assembly shall hold regular sessions and extraordinary sessions. Regular sessions shall be convened once or twice a year by the people’s committee at the corresponding level.  Extraordinary sessions shall be convened when the people’s committee at the corresponding level deems them necessary or at the request of more than one-third of the total number of deputies.

Article 142. The local people’s assembly requires a quorum of more than two-thirds of the total number of deputies in order to meet.

Article 143. The local people’s assembly shall elect its chairman. The chairman shall preside over the sessions.

Article 144. The local people’s assembly shall issue decisions.

Local people’s committees [LPC] have been in use in the DPRK since 1946, although their role has changed significantly over the years.  LPC’s are the mother hen of the local government apparatus.   It functions as the local government authority, between meetings of the LPA, and has   The LPC generates local development plans, budgets and ordinances which are submitted for approval to the LPA, to whom the LPC technically reports.  However, the LPC is the local implementation and execution arm of the central government.  It is tasked with enacting the orders and/or decisions of the SPA, the SPA Presidium, the National Defense Commission [NDC], the NDC Chairman, the DPRK Cabinet and the Cabinet’s ministries or its other subordinate organs.  References to the National Defense Commission or “the orders of the chairman of the NDC” (itemized in article 147) in the context of LPC’s were one of the revisions in the 2009 constitution.

According to Articles 145 to 152 of the 2009 DPRK Constitution:

Article 145.  Provincial (municipality directly under the central authority), municipal (district), and county people’s committees are the local organs of sovereignty when the people’s assembly at the corresponding level is in recess, and are the administrative and executive organs of local sovereignty at the corresponding level.

Article 146. The local people’s committee shall be composed of the chairman, vice chairmen, secretary, and members. The term of office of the local people’s committee shall be the same as that of the people’s assembly at the corresponding level.

Article 147. The local people’s committee shall have the duties and authority to:

1. Convene the people’s assembly sessions.

2. Carry out the work of electing deputies to the people’s assembly.

3. Carry out work with deputies to the people’s assembly.

4. Execute the decisions and directives of the relevant local people’s assembly and of the people’s committees at higher levels; the laws, ordinances, and decisions of the SPA; the orders of the chairman of the DPRK NDC; the decisions and directives of the NDC; the decrees, decisions, and directives of the SPA Presidium; and the decisions and directives of the Cabinet and the committees and ministries of the Cabinet.

5. Organize and execute all administrative work in the local area concerned.

6. Draw up local plans for the development of the people’s economy and establish measures for their implementation.

7. Compile local budgets and establish measures for their execution.

8. Establish measures to maintain public order, protect the property and interests of the state and social cooperative organizations, and guarantee the rights of citizens in the local area concerned.

9. Carry out the inspection and control work aimed at establishing order in state administration in the local area concerned.

10. Guide the work of the people’s committees at lower levels.

11. Rescind erroneous decisions and directives of the people’s committees at lower levels, and suspend the execution of erroneous decisions of the people’s assemblies at lower levels.

Article 148. The local people’s committee shall hold plenary meetings and executive meetings. The plenary meetings of the local people’s committee shall be composed of all its members, and the executive meetings shall be composed of the chairman, vice chairmen, and secretary.

Article 149. The plenary meetings of the local people’s committee shall discuss and decide on the important issues raised in fulfilling its duties and in exercising its authority. The executive meetings shall discuss and decide on the issues delegated by the plenary meetings.

Article 150. The local people’s committee shall issue decisions and directives.

Article 151. The local people’s committee may have non-standing sectoral committees to assist it in its work.

Article 152. The local people’s committee shall be accountable for its work to the people’s assembly at the corresponding level. The local people’s committee shall be subordinate to the people’s committees at higher levels, the Cabinet, and the SPA Presidium.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Article Archives

July 2011
M T W T F S S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031