Cantonment election 'peaceful' and 'orderly', states FAFEN

September 17, 2021

FAFEN noted that the voter turnout was low and only 1% of the contesting candidates were women

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A woman can be seen casting her vote. — File photo

The election for Pakistan’s cantonment boards were largely peaceful and orderly, although voter turnout was low and only 1% of the contesting candidates were women, noted the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).

FAFEN, which observed the polls held on September 12 for 39 cantonment boards across the country, called the “controversy-free electoral outcome” a positive sign for Pakistan’s democratic tradition, in a report published on Thursday.

According to its independent observers, the election day was efficiently managed and remained largely peaceful and by law, except for a few incidents of irregularities.

However, of concern to FAFEN was that only one-third of the registered voters came out to vote. It further noted that the participation of women as candidates remained “disconcertingly low”, with only 19 women (1%) contesting the polls out of 1,499 candidates.

Of the 19 women candidates, nine contested independently, three were awarded tickets by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), two by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and one each by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Jamat-e-Islami Pakistan (JIP) and Pakistan Muslim League (PML).

As for the final results, as per the organisation’s data, the PML-N bagged the largest chunk of the polled votes, approximately 27.7%, while the PTI followed closely behind with 26.9% of the votes. Independent candidates gathered 20.9%, PPP 6.3% and TLP 6.1% of the votes polled.

Even though the TLP did not win a single seat, it emerged as the fourth largest party in the election.

The PTI ranked second in terms of the total votes obtained, but it bagged the highest number of seats, therefore 63, followed by PML-N, 59, PPP, 17, and JIP, 7. Independent candidates emerged as winners on 52 seats.

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