PESHAWAR: The Election Commission of Pakistan has declared void the Feb 20 re-polling for 20 seats of 16 village councils and a tehsil council of three districts due to the low turnout of women voters and ordered re-polling in those constituencies on Apr 17.

A notification issued by the ECP said the village councils, where re-polling would take place included VC Kanju-II of Swat; Naway Kalay, Bagra, Mala Yousaf and Panjpaw of Buner district, and VCs Paloso Dag, Badalzoo, Khongi Bala, Saddo, Baba Gam, Swara Ghundi, Adokay, Tazagram, Nawagai, Ouch Gharbi, Batan and Watangy of Lower Dir district.

The re-polling will also be held in Samarbagh ward of Samarbagh tehsil council for a general seat.

The ECP said the re-polling would be held for 11 general seats of village councils, one seat each reserved for peasant and worker and woman and six seats reserved for youth.

It ordered the re-polling for four polling stations in Lower Dir, where results were declared void.

On Feb 6, the ECP had declared results as void against 45 seats in different village councils and tehsil councils in eight districts where by-polls were held on Dec 21 and Dec 28.

The ECP had ordered re-polling against those seats on Feb 20.

However, during the re-polling, the issue of low turnout of women votes persisted in the current 17 local councils against the 20 seats of different categories.

Under Section 9 of the Elections Act, 2017, the ECP was empowered to declare polls void in a constituency where the number of votes polled by women are less than 10 percent of the total polled votes.

Published in Dawn, March 16th, 2018