PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Shaukat Yousafzai said on Friday that he will challenge the Election Commission of Pakistan’s orders of withholding results of PK-23 Shangla over lower female voter turnout during 2018 general elections.
Earlier in the day, the ECP had announced re-polling after polls results showed less than 10% votes polled by female voters. PTI’s Yousafzai had emerged victorious in the July 25 election for the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa seat.
“If they [ECP] really wanted to tell the West that lower women turnout concerns them, they should have announced re-polling at female polling stations only and not the entire process,” Yousafzai told The Express Tribune, adding that, “There is no need for the entire exercise since no body forced female voters not to vote.”
He said it will be unfair to expect candidates to spend money on electioneering once again. “Will they give us money for transportation, meals, advertisements and other important things?” Yousafzai questioned.
“Not even a single candidate barred women from polling their vote and it was their [women] own decision of refusing to show up at the polling stations,” he said, adding, “I am not responsible if female voters refused since we never stopped them.”
Only 3,500 out of 86,698 registered women voters used their right of franchise in the constituency while 66,000 out of 114,000 male voters participated in the democratic exercise, resulting in a 34% total turnout on July 25.