PESHAWAR: Female voters would exercise their right to vote for the first time ever in the urban areas of Pakistan’s northwest district of Battagram in North West Frontier Province in tomorrow’s by-election on the PF-59 electoral constituency seat for the provincial legislature.
Sources said that the contesting candidates and the male voters had reached an understanding that the women in the rural areas of the district would be kept away from the polling stations.
They said that a local Jirga (council of elders), held here the other day, decided to allow the female voters to cast their ballot at about 12 polling stations.
The Jirga also decided to keep the men out of these polling stations and sought deployment of police personnel on these points. The February 18 election on the seat had been postponed due to the death of a candidate, Ayaz Khan, who was a former provincial minister.
Jawad Khan, assistant election commissioner of Battagram, when contacted, said Tuesday that he had worked to make sure that female voters were able to use their right of vote in the by-election.
“I am optimistic that female polling would be held during the June 26 by-elections but it is premature to say at how many polling booths.”
Jawad said that 197 polling booths had been set up at about 68 polling stations in the district of which 70 were specified for female voters. Meanwhile, police sources said that for the by-election a security plan had been chalked out to cope with any untoward situation. — Internews
Wednesday, 25 June, 2008