A woman won a local election in India nearly two weeks after her death, as her supporters honored their pledge to vote for her out of respect.
Posthumously, Ashiya Bi won a municipal civic body seat in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, with nearly 44 percent of the vote in this month’s election.
The popular 30-year-old first-time candidate fell ill, reportedly due to an acute lung and abdominal infection, and passed away just 12 days prior to the election.
The candidate’s spouse notified election officials, but district officer Bhagwan Sharan told AFP on Tuesday that there is no procedure in place to remove the candidate’s name from the ballot.
“Once the electoral process begins, it cannot be halted or paused,” Sharan stated.
Prior to her passing, Bi was an enormously popular candidate, and many electors decided to vote for her out of respect and admiration.
Mohammad Zakir, a local resident, told the Times of India, “Ashiya made friends easily, and people didn’t want to break their promise of support for her, thus the outcome.”
Her spouse, Muntazim Qureishi, stated that Bi “won hearts with her tranquil demeanor.”
“Our votes are a tribute to her,” another voter, Arif, was quoted as saying in the news article.
Personal, familial, and community allegiances frequently play a decisive role in India’s often tumultuous elections.