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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

WOMEN DEAD....ELECTED TO OFFICE:

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Police in northwestern Pakistan have launched an inquiry after complaints about two dead women being declared elected in a local election held last month, election officials said Monday.

The women, one of whom died 13 years ago, were elected as councilors in the Upper Dir district in the North West Frontier Province, according to the News daily newspaper. The other woman died three years ago.

Khushalzada Khan, assistant election officer in Upper Dir, told Reuters if the women were found to be dead, then fresh voting would be ordered in those seats and action could be taken against those who nominated them.

Upper Dir is a deeply conservative region where tribal elders backed by radical Islamist clerics in July banned women from standing in the election or casting votes.

But hundreds of women defied the ban after the central government said it was unconstitutional and vowed to support women taking part in the election.

Newspapers did not speculate on the reason why two dead women may have been nominated or suggest it was a case of mistaken identity.

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