Right to vote: K-P directed to ensure women vote in LG polls

ECP issues directive following reports of alleged impediment in Lower Dir

Irfan Ghauri May 28, 2015
ECP issues directive following reports of alleged impediment in Lower Dir. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The top electoral body has directed the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government and returning officers to make sure that no woman in the province is barred from voting in the upcoming local government elections.

“The Election Commission of Pakistan has directed the KPK Government/DROs to monitor the scenario closely and eradicate any such move in shape of written or verbal agreement, speeches, announcements or any other such instigation which could create the sense of deprivation, discouraging women from their fundamental right of franchise” said a statement issued by the ECP on Wednesday.

There are reports that women are to be impeded from casting their vote in the LG elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, scheduled to be held on 30th May 2015.

Earlier during a by-election in Lower Dir this month not a single woman reportedly polled her vote for the provincial assembly constituency. The case is still pending with ECP.

“It is totally against the spirit of Islam and the Constitution of Pakistan in which women have fundamental privileges like a man to offer their opinion,” the statement said.

ECP said it would be deemed an offence to impose a ban on women’s right if any woman was barred from voting.

The commission has sought report from K-P government about arrangements it has made to ensure that women can exercise their right to vote freely.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2015.


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