Lakki Marwat by-elections: JUI-F urges re-polling in 90 stations

Party says only a fraction of proxy votes cast after women disenfranchised.

Umar Nangiana August 26, 2013
Party says only a fraction of proxy votes cast after women disenfranchised. PHOTO: AFP


Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s party is all set to file a petition in the election commission demanding re-polls in 90 polling stations for NA-27 Lakki Marwat.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had withheld results from the constituency in the August 22 by-elections after incidents of women being barred by elders and community leaders in certain areas of Lakki Marwat were reported. The Peshawar High Court chief justice had also taken suo motu notice of the incident directing the electoral body to hold re-polls.

“Women were barred from voting not only at 23 polling stations but at around 80 to 90 stations,” said Jan Achakzai, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl spokesperson.

The NA-27 seat was originally won by the JUI-F chief, during the May 11 general elections, who also won two other national assembly seats from Tank and Dera Ismail Khan. He later decided to keep his hometown seat of D I Khan.

After media reports and poll results, the ECP determined that women voters’ turnout remained very low at nine polling stations where local community elders in discussion with the party candidates had decided that women would not cast their votes in the by-elections.

However, Fazl’s spokesperson Achakzai in a statement said that women voters have been barred from voting in around 90 polling stations where after an agreement with local elders, a very small number of proxy votes were cast.

The ECP has proposed a legislation suggesting conducting re-polls at polling stations where women voters’ turnout remains less than 10%.

But no legislative work has so far been carried out in this regard. Therefore, the ECP has ordered re-polls at only those nine polling stations which were identified by the PHC.

According to unofficial results, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) candidate was in a decisive lead over his rival candidate Maulana Attaur Rehman, Fazlur Rehman’s brother, from JUI-F.

He said that JUI-F will also raise the issue with PHC on Monday, “JUI-F will not allow de-franchising of women voters at any cost,” said Achakzai.

JUI-F would certainly fail to retain the seat it won in the May 11 general elections if the re-polls, scheduled for next weekend, are held on nine polling stations for women and not in the 90 polling stations as demanded by the JUI-F chief.

The PTI victory came as a surprise after the second strongest contender from the area, the Saifullah family, decided not to participate in the by-elections.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2013.


waqas | 9 years ago | Reply

very shame full act

waqas | 9 years ago | Reply

very shame full act by phc

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