Polls sans women vote casting can be nullified: ECP

ISLAMABAD  -  The Election Commission of Pakistan [ECP] yesterday rejected the controversial decree about banning women participation in election campaigns and even casting vote in Hazara region (Kohistan).

It also warned that the whole election process in those constituencies where women are barred from taking part in the electioneering could be nullified.

It is to be mentioned here that a group of Islamic clerics in KP’s Kohistan region has issued an edict, banning women from participating in election canvassing.

The ECP has taken notice of this news. It explained that the district monitoring offi­cer of Kohistan in his re­port has conveyed to the top election body that there was no such report in this regard and action will be taken according to the code and conduct framed with the collabo­ration of political parties. A spokesperson for the ECP stated that the Elec­tion Commission may in­voke Section 9 of the Elections Act, potential­ly leading to the nullifica­tion of the entire election process if women are im­peded from casting votes. The ECP took immediate action on the reports cir­culating in certain media outlets on Monday, claim­ing that a group of schol­ars in the Kohistan region has purportedly issued a fatwa prohibiting women from participating in elec­tion campaigns. Accord­ing to sources in the elec­toral watchdog, over fifty percent of polling stations have been categorised as sensitive. Over 40,000 from all provinces have been declared ‘sensitive’ due to various reasons. In another development, the ECP expressed satisfac­tion over the printing of voter list/ electoral rolls in the printing press. After the allotment of election symbols by Returning Of­ficers (ROs), the process of printing electoral rolls had started. The print­ing of electoral rolls will be completed on Febru­ary 02 [Friday]. The deliv­ery of electoral rolls in the concerned polling station would start this week.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt