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ECP orders re-election in PK-23 Shangla over low women turnout

ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan on Friday ordered re-election in PK-23 Shangla due to the low turnout of female voters. 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate and former provincial minister Shaukat Yousafzai was declared successful from the constituency.

A statement by the commission said the polls and their results in PK-23 have been declared void over low turnout of female voters. The commission had withheld the notification and will now make arrangements for re-election.

The ECP also reserved verdict in the case of low turnout of female voters in NA-10 Shangla constituency. Prominent lawyer Babar Awan submitted the details of female voters and said that women were barred from voting under an agreement.

He said that 204 out of 259 polling stations did not have even a single women vote. The total turnout in the constituency was 9.68 percent, he said adding that the election results are declared null and void if the turnout is less than ten percent.

Ibadullah Khan of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had won the seat by clinching 34,070 votes against Saeed-ur-Rahman of the Awami National Party (ANP) who received 32,665 votes.

The number of registered voters in NA-10 Shangla is 374,343. There were 212,294 male voters out of which 115,639 cast their votes, while only 12,663 women from the total registered 162,049 female voters turned up to vote. The total votes cast in the constituency was 128,302 and female votes was less than 10 percent of the total votes.

Earlier this month, the ECP Secretariat had moved a summary stating that the polls in NA-10 Shangla and NA-48 North Waziristan be declared void due to low turnout of female voters.

In NA-48 the total number of registered voters was 274,205. Out of the 196,668 male voters, 57,600 (29.28 pc), and out of a total 77,537 female voters just 6,364 (8.19 pc) showed up to vote.

Women voters fell short of just 32 votes to attain the 10 percent share in the total polled votes. Independent candidate Mohsin Javed won the seat securing 16,496 votes defeating Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Aurangzeb Khan who bagged 10,369 votes.

According to the rules, if among the total votes cast in a constituency, the share of women in the final count is less than ten percent, the results of the polls may be declared void.

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