ECP irked by possibility of bar on women voters in KPPakistan
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has taken notice of reports about a plan to bar women from voting in the local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa scheduled to be held on May 30, and warned against any such attempts.
In a statement, the commission said this would be against the spirit of Islam and the Constitution of Pakistan, where every woman has fundamental privileges, like men, to offer her opinion.
Taking serious notice of the development, the ECP emphasised that imposing a ban on women’s right to vote was unconstitutional and would be deemed an offence.
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The ECP has directed the KP government and the district returning officers to monitor the scenario closely and foil any such move; whether in the form of a written or verbal agreements, speeches, announcements or any other such instigation that could create a sense of deprivation and discourage women from exercising their right to franchise.
The KP government has also been directed to apprise the ECP forthwith about arrangements made in this regard.
Meanwhile, the ECP issued notices to federal Minister for Housing and Works Akram Khan Durrani to explain violation of code of conduct.
Former MNA Humayun Saifullah Khan had filed an application against Mr Durrani, accusing him of addressing a public rally in Swabi in violation of the code of conduct.
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Mr Durrani has been asked to appear in person before the commission on Thursday, failing which the matter will be decided in his absence. In the meantime, the respondent has been directed to stop all political canvassing.
Parliamentary leader of Jamaat-i-Islami in the National Assembly, Sahibzada Tariqullah, has also been issued a notice on the charge of violating the code of conduct.
But in a move that surprised many, three public rallies addressed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan, in Peshawar, Mardan and Nowshera, went unnoticed.
The ECP had previously issued notices to Imran Khan on the planned schedule of rallies by him, but the same was withdrawn the next day after the commission received reports about the cancellation of his programme.
Similarly, a petition against JI Emir Senator Sirajul Haq had also been disposed of after the commission was informed that the rallies had nothing to do with the upcoming local government elections and would now take place after the polls.
Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2015
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