North Korea local elections
North Korea holds world's most pointless electionKCNA via Reuters

North Korea holds what can only be called as the "world's most pointless" election exercise, in which voters will have the choice to vote for only one candidate, and abstention from voting is usually considered treason.

On Sunday, 19 July, the cloistered state will conduct its local polls for the first time since Kim Jong-un came to power. The country conducts the local polls every four years since 1999, often seen as a futile exercise to legitimise the regime's rule.

Though there are two options, "Yes" and "No" given on the ballot paper to mark against the candidates nominated by ruling party Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland, it is hard to imagine anyone casting a "No" vote.

Deputies to municipalities and districts will be chosen in the polls. At 2pm local time, the state-run mouthpiece said the voter turnout was almost 91%. Most often in these elections, the turnouts are announced to be about 98 or 99%.

"It's comical when they claim to have 100 per cent turnout because it defies reality. What about people incapacitated in hospital? Or on a ship at sea?" Daniel Pinkston, a North Korean expert with Seoul-based The International Crisis Group, told the Telegraph.

"It is a method of social control that enables the authorities there to confirm the whereabouts of its citizens and to identify any who are not where they are meant to be."

The last elections were conducted in July 2011 under the rule of Kim Jong-il, the father of the ruling Kim.