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SHANGLA: Elders and poll contestants barred women from voting in Koz Kana and Sangrai village councils here during the local government by-elections in Shangla district on Wednesday.

According to locals, notables of the area and contesters unanimously decided not to allow women to vote in the by-polls as they believed that women participation in elections was against their traditions and norms.

Women presiding officers remained present at the polling stations in both the union councils but no woman came to vote.

However, the by-polls were held peacefully in two village councils. According to unofficial results, Mohammad-i-Room and Liaqat Ali won their seats. The slots had fallen vacant after elected councillors took government jobs.

District election officer Sardar Saidur Rehman confirmed the ban imposed by the elders and contestants. He claimed that the ECP was trying to create awareness among the people about the importance of vote, particularly for women, but the local elders, and even contestants, did not cooperate.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2017

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