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August 11, 2018

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ECP orders re-polling in PK-23 Shangla over low women voting

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday ordered re-polling in PK-23, Shangla-I constituency, where just 5.1 per cent votes were cast by females. According to Form-47, the total number of registered voters in this constituency is 200,525: of these, 113,827 are male and 86,698 are female voters. However, out of the total 69,827 polled votes, the share of female voters was a paltry 3,505 votes, whereas 2,792 votes were rejected. Hence, the total valid votes were 67,035.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate, Shaukat Yousafzai, received 17,399 votes and returned from the constituency, while the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Muhammad Irshad Khan pocketed 15,533 votes and remained the runner-up.

However, the Election Commission had withheld the notification of Shaukat Yousafzai’s victory. The Election Commission declared that the polls and their results in PK-23 had been declared void over the low turnout of female voters. Irshad Khan had approached the Election Commission to declare the poll process void, as less than mandatory 10 percent female voters had used their right to vote.

It is interesting to note that not a single female vote was polled at two polling stations of this constituency, as according to media reports, a local Jirga had barred females from going to polling stations to cast their votes.

Under the law, any constituency, where the turnout of female voters will be below 10 per cent, re-polling will be ordered. Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Muhammad Raza expressed deep grief over the death of former provincial election commissioner Javed Khurshid. The CEC appreciated Javed Khurshid for his services and prayed for eternal peace for his soul.

A condolence reference under the Secretary Election Commission Babar Fateh Muhammad was held here at the Election Commission Secretariat and fateha khwani was held for the departed soul.

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