Over 270 Election Staff Die After Indonesian Election
Over 270 Election Staff Lose Lives As Overwork Takes Toll
- Over 270 election staff were confirmed dead 10 days after the historically large election.
- The spokesman for the election commission reported at least 272 had died by Saturday, 27th April.
- He further reported 1,878 people had fallen ill from the overworking in the vote counting.
- The government ordered free health services for the ill election officers while it is seeking compensation for the family of the deceased.
More than 270 election staff died in Indonesia ten days after it held the world's biggest single-day elections. Officials reported the staff died mostly from fatigue-related illness caused by long hours of work counting millions of votes.
Indonesia held the elections on April 17 which were the first time the country of 260 million people combined the presidential vote with the aim to cut the costs.
Estimated 80% of the total 193 million voters participated in the largely peaceful elections where each voter had to punch up to fice ballot papers. The elections were conducted in over 800k polling stations.
The elections officials had to count the ballot papers by hand continuously for days which turned deadly for many of the staff. Spokesman of the General Elections Commission (KPU), Arief Priyo Susanto told at least 272 officials had died as of Saturday, 27th April.
Susanto further reported most of the officials died from overwork-related illnesses where 1,878 had fallen ill. On 23rd April, the health ministry issued a circular letter urging health facilities to give health care for the ill election staff. On the other side, the finance ministry was working on compensation for the bereaved family.
According to some outlets, the election commission (KPU) will conclude vote counting soon and will announce the winners of the presidential and parliamentary elections on 22nd May.
Meanwhile, both the candidates of the presidential elections declared victory though initial countings suggested Widodo won the election by around 9-10% points.