Demand for re polling on low women turnout polling stations in KP

May 16, 2013 Off By Web Desk

Peshawar: Women rights activists have strongly objected the agreements between different liberal and religious parties for barring female from exercising right to vote and low turnout of women voters in various districts of KP, demanded of the Election commission to declare polls results of all these polling stations as null and void and hold re-polling.

“The turnout of women voters was witnessed very low in more than eight districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while the agreements between mainstream political parties in PK95 Dir Lower restraining women from casting ballots, has limited them to participate in the electoral process, said Shabina Ayaz, Resident Director, Aurat Foundation while sharing the data about low turnout of women voters in eight districts of KP here at press club on Thursday.

She informed the turnout of women voters witnessed very low at various polling stations in Dir Lower and Upper, Mardan, D.I.Khan, Nowshera, Battagram, Swabi and Malakand areas.

Accompanied by a member of National Commission on the Status of Women, Zubaida Noor, members of Provincial Commission on the Status of Women, and representatives from civil society organizations, Ms Ayaz said they had monitored pre and post election scenario, particularly relating to women voters issues and their participation in the electoral process. She added that her organization had timely informed the Election commission about surfacing of such situation, depriving women voters from their constitutional right of vote in KP.

Owing to lack of any remedial steps for these issues by the ECP, she said the situation was exactly prevailed in the elections because of which a large number of women had deprived from excising their right to vote in KP.

In wake of political parties’ agreement Dir Lower, she informed a women was polled vote in the district out of total registered voter of 138910, while in district Buner more than 164821 registered voters, out of which only 17655 women used their right vote in 11 established polling stations in the district Buner. She said the data was collected from Election Commission of Pakistan form16, which was filled by returning officers.

Ms Ayaz referred the two separate agreement between political parties in Dir Lower and Upper reaching a day before elections, described the step was tantamount to keep women from their constitutional right and strongly condemnable one. She said almost all mainstream liberal and religious political parties had signed on these agreements, which was sheer violation of basic code of conduct of Election Commission.

“No single party was taken action against the responsible people of these agreements, she regretted. She further said the pamphlets also disseminated in the constituency PK95, warning women dire consequences, if they were taken part in the electoral process. She said the restriction was totally unconstitutional and unwise, and Election commission should take prompt notice of this matter, she demanded.

The organization resident director referred the Election commission suggestion for declaring election results null and void, if the turnout of women voters were below 10 per cent any polling station. So, she said it was a good proposal, which need to make practical shape in future, to ensure maximum participation of women in the election process.