PESHAWAR: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday annulled the election result of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly seat PK-23 Shangla and ordered a re-election due to the low turnout of women votes in the constituency.
According to details, the election on PK-23 was annulled as women’s turnout of total polled votes was less than 10%, a legal requirement laid down in the Elections Act of 2017 to validate the result.
Over 3,505 of the total women voters exercised their right, which was only 5% of the total 69,827 votes polled there.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shaukat Ali Yousafzai was declared a winner from PK-23 in the preliminary unofficial results of July 25 general election. Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) nominee Muhammad Rishad Khan, who was the runners-up with a margin of fewer than 3,300 votes, had approached the ECP for re-election. Shaukat Ali was declared a winner with 17,399 votes whereas Muhammad Rishad was the runners-up with 15,533 votes.
The ECP rejected the plea for re-polling on NA-10 Shangla on similar grounds pertaining to 10% turnout of women. The constituencies where women turnout of polled votes was less than 10% include NA- 39 Dera Ismail Khan, NA-42 Mohmand, NA-44 Khyber and NA -48 North Waziristan. In NA-39, where PTI candidate Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh had defeat JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman, the female voter turnout was the lowest with just 3 per cent participation from women.
Responding to the decision of ECP, PTI leader Shaukat Ali Yousafzai called it unjustified, adding that instead of ordering the cancellation of elections on the whole constituency, the ECP should have ordered re-polling on polling stations where women didn’t cast votes. “This is a mountainous area and re-election will not only cause hardships for him but will also be difficult for the people,” he said.