Dead woman wins election in India's Uttar Pradesh

 A woman won a local election in India almost two weeks after her death as supporters kept their pledge to back her in a sign of respect, officials said.

Ashiya Bi polled nearly 44 percent of the vote in the race for a municipal civic body seat in the Bijnor district of India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh this month, according to a report by the AFP news agency on Tuesday.

Bi fell ill, reportedly from an acute lung and abdominal infection, and died just 12 days before the poll. The popular 30-year-old first-time candidate was declared victorious posthumously.

Her husband informed election officials about the death, but district officer Bhagwan Sharan told AFP there was no procedure in place to remove her name from the ballot.

“Once the electoral process begins, it cannot be halted or paused,” Sharan said.

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Before she passed away, Bi proved a major hit with voters, and many decided to cast their ballots for her anyway in a sign of respect and admiration.

“Ashiya made friends easily and people didn’t want to break the promise of support they gave her and hence the result,” resident Mohammad Zakir told the Times of India newspaper.

Her husband Muntazim Qureishi said Bi had “won hearts with her calm demeanour”.

“Our votes are a tribute to her,” the paper quoted another voter, Arif, as saying. 

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