TIMERGARA: The election commission has announced to hold re-polling for the third time on two tehsil council, 16 village council seats and one seat of peasant worker in Lower Dir on April 17, after the results of earlier by-polls were declared null and void over less women enfranchisement.

Talking to reporters on Saturday, district election officer Noor Khan Khattak said the ECP had set up 55 polling stations, including seven for women and 48 combined, for the purpose.

He said a total of 423 polling staff, including women presiding officers, assistant presiding officers and polling officers, had been appointed. The official said the polling staff had been given proper training.

The de-notified seats include tehsil council ward Shahikhel Talash and tehsil council ward Samarbagh. Both the seats fell vacant when the JI candidates joined the PML-N and PTI, respectively, last year.

The ECP held first by-election on these seats on Dec, 21, 2017, but did not notify the successful candidates as women voters’ turnout was less than 10 per cent. The ECP again held re-polling on these seats on Feb 20, but again did not notify the winning candidates though over 1,600 women participated in the vote.

Though the ECP is holding LG by-elections for the third time on these seats the political activists and candidates seem least bothered to bring out women for voting due to lack of interest by political parties.

PROTEST THREATENED: The Nursing Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday threatened to stage a protest sit-in outside the provincial assembly if their demands were not accepted by the government.

The association’s leaders led by provincial president Inayatul Haq visited the tehsil headquarters hospital, Samarbagh, where the nursing staff boycotted duties.

On the occasion, Mr Haq and others complained that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, health and finance ministers had promised them in March 2015 to accept their five demands, including upgradation, payment of health professional allowance, construction of nursing directorate, approval of risk allowance and equal privileges for nurses working either at teaching or district and peripheral hospitals.

However, they said the government accepted none of their demands despite the passage of three years.

“The nursing staff has no option but to come onto the roads again like in 2015,” Mr Haq said.

Meanwhile, in charge of the THQ hospital Samarbagh, Dr Mohammad Humayun, told journalists that the facility had announced special incentives for aged citizens. He said people above 60 years of age would not have to stand in queues and would be provided free treatment.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2018

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