Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Shaukat Ali Yousafzai has secured Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s seat PK-23 (Shangla-I) once again by defeating PML-N candidate Muhammad Rashad Khan in a re-poll on Monday that saw a larger number of women turn out to vote in Shangla district.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had declared the election in PK-23 null and void as the turnout of women voters was less than the specified 10 per cent of total votes cast in the July 25 general elections.

The ECP had announced re-polling in the constituency on September 10. Polling started at 8am on Monday and continued till 6pm.

According to Form-47 (Provisional Consolidated Statement of Results) issued by the returning officer on Tuesday, PTI’s Yousafzai defeated PML-N’s Rashad Khan by securing 35,940 votes while the latter obtained 17,378 votes — a margin of 18,562 votes.

There are a total of 200,525 registered voters in the constituency, while the number of valid votes cast in the by-poll was 54,656. Voter turnout remained at 27.80 per cent, including 7,669 women voters.

In the July 25 polls, Yousafzai, a former provincial minister, 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 asking that the election be declared null and void over low turnout of female voters.

In the re-poll, the number of votes of both candidates increased as a larger number of women turned up on polling day.

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 a good omen for Shangla’s political landscape.

On polling day, supporters of the candidates provided transport facilities to women voters to ensure their turnout, Dawn reported. Soon after unofficial results were announced, PTI supporters gathered on Karakoram Highway to celebrate their candidate’s victory.

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