Women barred from voting, Pak cancels result

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Islamabad: Diverting from its decade old apathy towards women, Pakistan Election Commission has cancelled the results of a local poll, held in the country’s restive northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, after women were barred from casting ballot.

Local elections were held on May 7 across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan’s deeply conservative northwestern province which has long been plagued by militancy.

In Lower Dir district a member of the Islamist Jamat-e-Islami party was elected, but it emerged that women in the area had been prevented from voting. After objections by civil society groups, women’s rights organisations and the media, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) cancelled the result

It is not the first time a Pakistani election result has been overturned because women have been stopped from voting. A court in the northwest withheld by-election results in two constituencies in 2013 and ordered the arrest of elders who had prevented women from voting.

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