PTI leader Shaukat Yousafzai. – A file photo

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shaukat Yousafzai has announced to challenge the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding re-polling on PK-23, Shangla seat.

The Election Commission Friday ordered re-polling in PK-23 over low turnout of women in the voting. According to unofficial results, 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.

However, Shaukat Yousafzai said while talking to a news channel that the electoral body’s decision was beyond comprehension. He said the decision negates the truth, announcing to take the matter to the high court. Mr Yousafzai said no candidate contesting from the constituency had complained of low turnout of female voters.

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 in an earlier statement had stated that many polling stations in Shangla were combined and under the local traditions, women don’t come to such polling stations for voting.