Pakistan elections: Probe ordered into reports of women being barred from voting

Some NGOs had submitted a written complaint with election commissioner about signing of agreements between the candidates of the political parties for barring women from voting.

Pakistan elections: Probe ordered into reports of women being barred from voting
Reuters Photo

Peshawar:  Election authorities in Pakistan have ordered an inquiry into reports that women are being barred from voting in parts of conservative northwest Pakistan in the general elections on Wednesday.

The Provincial Election Commissioner (PEC) has directed the District Returning Officers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Malakand Region to conduct an inquiry into the reports.

Some NGOs had submitted a written complaint with election commissioner about signing of agreements between the candidates of the political parties for barring women from voting, a spokesman for KP Election Commission said.

The Provincial Election Commissioner has also taken notice of reports appeared in a section of media about the expectation of less female voting in Swabi and Batagram areas of the province.

In this connection, directives were also issued to concerned DROs and Deputy Commissioner to ensure freedom of vote casting to every citizen in the mentioned areas.

Malakand Division is consisted of Swat, Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Shangla, Buner, Chitral, Malakand and Bajaur districts.

The provincial election commissioner has setup a special women desk in the provincial election office which will entertain complaints relating to women voting in the province.

Pakistanis will go to the polls tomorrow to elect a new prime minister in the second democratic transition of power in the nation's 70-year chequered history amid accusations of manipulation by the powerful army. And concerns over the participation of Islamic hardliners in large numbers. 

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