Lahore, July 25 (IANS) For the first time in Pakistan’s political history, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)gave the duty of “observers” during polling to members of the transgender community. However, on Wednesday in Lahore they were not allowed to vote and in Peshawar they were barred from entering polling stations.
“There are reports that voters from the transgender community in Lahore are not being allowed to cast their ballot in male polling stations,” Dawn reported.
According to Express News, at least 25 transgender observers were barred from entering polling stations across Peshawar in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa despite being issued the accreditation cards by the ECP.
The transgender community has informed the poll panel of the provincial police’s behaviour but no action has been taken yet.
“Transgender Election Day Observer (EDO) was stopped by security forces at Afghan Colony despite having ECP accreditation card,” the report said.
Members of the community are not only voting in the 11th general elections but also contesting. Five transgender candidates are in the fray.
At the onset of the election campaign, 13 transgender candidates filed their nomination papers for the contestable constituencies in both the national and provincial assemblies. But nine were forced to drop out due to lack of funds.
Unlike women and religious minorities, transgenders do not have any reserved seats in parliament or the provincial houses.