SHANGLA: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Shaukat Ali Yousafzai has secured Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s seat PK-23 (Shangla-I) once again by defeating Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) candidate Muhammad Rashad Khan in a re-poll on Monday as a large number of women voters turned out in Shangla district for the first time.

The Election Commission of Pakistan had declared election in PK-23 null and void as the turnout of women voters was less than the specified 10 per cent of the total cast vote in the general elections on July 25. The ECP had announced re-polling in the constituency on Sept 10. Polling started at 8am on Monday and continued till 6pm. According to unofficial results, PTI’s Yousafzai defeated PML-N’s Rashad Khan by securing 41,960 votes while the latter obtained 22,113 votes.

In July polls, Mr Yousafzai had secured 17,300 votes while Rashad had obtained 15,600 votes. After the results were announced, Rashad Khan’s brother Wali Khan filed an application in the ECP seeking to declare the election null and void over low turnout of women voters.

In the re-poll, the number of votes of both candidates increased as a large number of women turned up on polling day. Mr Yousafzai said that in July there were several rural areas in the constituency where women were unable to come out to cast their vote but this time they turned up and that was good omen for Shangla’s political landscape. On polling day, supporters of the candidates provided transport facilities to women voters to ensure their turnout. Soon after the results were announced, PTI’s supporters gathered on Karakoram Highway to celebrate their candidate’s victory.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2018

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