Re-polling ordered in PK-23, Shangla over low women voting

PESHAWAR: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has ordered re-polling in PK-23, Shangla over low turnout of women in the voting.

According to unofficial results, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Shaukat Yousafzai had won the election on the seat by receiving 17,399 votes, while the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Irshad Khan was runner-up with 15,533 votes.

The total number of registered voters in this constituency is 200,525 — 113,827 males and 86,698 females. However, out of total 69,827 polled votes, the share of female voters was 3,505 votes, whereas 2,792 votes were rejected. Hence, the total valid votes were 67,035. Only 5.1 percent votes were cast by women in the constituency.

Under the law, re-polling will be ordered in any constituency where the turnout of female voters will be below 10 percent. The ECP had withheld the notification of Shaukat Yousafzai’s victory and on Friday the results were declared void. Media reports said women voting was not held on two polling stations of the constituency, as a local Jirga had barred females from going to polling stations.

Shaukat Yousafzai expressed disappointment over the ECP decision and termed it unjust. He said many polling stations were combined and under the local traditions, women don’t come to such polling stations for voting.

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