Indonesia's elections were tough but run peacefully: security minister

Indonesia's elections were tough but run peacefully: security minister

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto. ((ANTARA FOTO/Nova Wahyudi/doc)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Even though it was a tough test of democracy, Indonesia's parliamentary and presidential elections were held simultaneously and peacefully across the country on April 17, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto said. While appreciating the peaceful completion of the democratic process, Wiranto deplored the deaths of members of the polling station working committee, elections supervisory committees, and security personnel during the electoral process.

Speaking to journalists after attending a coordinating ministerial meeting here Wednesday, he stated that the peaceful convening of the general elections had also been appreciated by many countries.

However, the government deplored the deaths of those while fulfilling electoral duties. “They were all heroes of democracy. Let us pray for them," he said.

Wiranto called on community members to appreciate their sacrifice and hard work by maintaining a conducive and peaceful post-election situation.

As of Tuesday, 119 working committee members of polling stations died of exhaustion and traffic accidents in the midst of their hectic work schedules and 548 others fell ill, The General Elections Commission (KPU) stated. These people were managing different ballot booths across Indonesia's 25 provinces.

Furthermore, 33 Elections Supervisory Committee members and 15 policemen also died while fulfilling electoral duties.

Bogor Mayor Bima Arya asked the KPU to assist in reassessing the process in which simultaneous general elections were held in view of the death of two overworked residents while manning polling stations.

"The death toll of polling station committee members is high. This is an eye-opener and there is a need to review the implementation model of the simultaneous elections. What are its repercussions on employee health? This evaluation is necessary," he said.

Arya asked for the setting of an age limit while appointing people to manage polling station working committees to ensure that such fatal incidents did not recur.

Instead of elderly individuals managing ballot booths, he suggested roping in physically fit youngsters to run polling station working committees.

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