PPP to challenge PHC verdict on Dir by-poll

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Politics on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The PPP may approach the Supreme Court to challenge a Peshawar High Court (PHC) verdict which overturned a decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) about elections held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s provincial assembly constituency PK-95 (Lower Dir).

The PHC decision was seen as a blow to women’s rights as the polls had been declared void by the ECP because women were not allowed to vote.

In a statement issued on Monday, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called for filing an appeal against the verdict before the Supreme Court. “The party must utilise all legal and constitutional means to restore the space that the women of Dir seem to have lost as a result of the verdict,” he said.

On June 2 last year, the ECP had declared the May 7 by-election in the constituency, where women had been barred from exercising their right of franchise, as void.

However, the petitioner who had obtained the highest number of votes (20,228) challenged the ECP decision before the PHC.

On March 10, the PHC allowed the appeal and asked the ECP to notify the Jamaat-i-Islami candidate as returned from the constituency.

PPP spokesperson Farhatullah Babar quoted the party chief as saying that the PHC verdict was “a setback to the struggle for women’s empowerment”.

According to the statement, Bilawal met PPP senators from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the Zardari House in Islamabad.

They included Khanzada Khan, Saifullah Bangash, Ahmad Hassan, Rubina 

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