It was dubbed the world's biggest single day elections as 80% of 264 million Indonesians cast their ballots on April 17.In a bid to cut cost, the election commission of the Southeast Asian nation opted to combine the presidential vote with national and regional parliamentary votes - the first of its kind in Indonesia.But the move came with a price because more than 272 election staff have died due to overwork. The workers who had to work throughout the clock had to also manually count the ballots.
General Elections Commission (KPU) spokesperson, Arief Priyo Susanto, says 1,878 have fallen sick due to overwork-related illnesses. This prompted Indonesia's health ministry to issue a circular on April 23 requesting health facilities across the nation to provide care to the staff. It begs the question: Is death from overwork common in Indonesia? To compensate the family of the deceased, the finance ministry is also now hard at work.
Meanwhile, the decision to cram three elections into a single day was the cause of the death of election staff, critics of KPU say. "The KPU is not prudent in managing the workload of staff," Opposition presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto's campaign deputy chairman, Ahmad Muzani remarks. Despite claims of cheating by his detractors, incumbent Indonesia President Joko Widodo is currently leading the polls. However, we will only get the official results on May 22 when the votes have been tallied.