In an early vote count, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is leading the polls on 24 seats of the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Assembly. During the count under tight security, the reports are that the ex-governing party PPP is losing on a number of majority seats including that of Chief Minister Mehdi Shah seat. PML-N comes out as the largest party in the Gilgit-Baltistan polls by winning 10 seats. By securing four seats each, PPP and PTI stood at second position. The Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) and Tehreek-e-Islami won two seats each while independent candidates won two seats.
The statistics of Nadra and Election Commission shows that there are 618,364 registered voters in the region with 329,475 men and 288,889 women. Approximately 600,000 people have exercised their voting power to elect 24 law makers. Three members of the legislative assembly will be elected from District Gilgit, three from District Hunza Nagar, six from Skardu, two from Astor, four from Diamer, three from Ghizer and three from Ganche.
PML-N and PTI were contesting the elections in all the constituencies, while PPP only participated on 22 seats. The MWM had 15 contesting candidates, All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) 13, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) 10, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) 07, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) 06, and Tehreek-e-Islami 12 candidates. While the candidates of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Sunni Ittehad Council (SIT), Aam Admi Party and the Gilgit-Baltistan Qaumi Movement were also contesting the polls. A large number of independent candidates also took part in the elections.
In GBLA Ghanche-2, PML-N candidate Ghulam Hussain Advocate won the constituency by securing 6,451 votes and his competitor Amina Ansari from PTI secured 5,725 votes and came second.
In GBLA 6 Hunza Nagar, PML-N’s Mir Ghazanfar Ali won bagging 6385 votes. In GBLA-22 Ghanche-1, Mohammad Ibrahim Sinai of PML-N wins bagging 11,655 votes while Amina Ansari of PTI came second with 1,755 votes. In Ghanche-2, PML-N’s Ghulam Hussain Advocate won clinching 6457 votes.
In GBLA-7 Skardu-1, Haji Akbar Taban of PML-N is leading with 3,221 votes while Raja Jalal Hussain Khan of PTI is behind him with 3,212 votes according to unofficial and unverified results. Former chief minister Gilgit-Baltistan Mehdi Shah of PPP is currently on third position.
In GBLA-24 Ghanche-3, Mohammad Shafiq of PML-N wins the constituency bagging 5,440 votes while Mohammad Ismail of PPP remains runner-up with 5,100 votes. In GBLA-18 Diamer-4, Haji Mohammad Wakil of PML-N wins the seat securing 3,500 votes while Haji Gulbar Khan of JUI-F comes second with 2,180 votes.
From Hunza, MWM’s Rizwan Ali won clinching 2436 votes. Eight members – three technocrats and five women – will be indirectly elected with nearly 467 candidates took part in the elections.
On Saturday before 24 hours of the polls, all the political and election campaigns ended. The Elections were conducted in the supervision of the army. Military personnel were deployed outside the polling stations and all the election material was transferred to the polling station under army’s supervision.
Civil administration and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) requested to deploy army troops to maintain law and order during the polling process. Army officials are given special magisterial powers to act against those who try to sabotage the elections.
In 2009, Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly was created through a presidential order. Pakistan People’s Party won the elections and formed their government which successfully completed its tenure of five years. On December 13, 2014, an interim government was set up with a 12-member caretaker cabinet to conduct free and fair elections.
It was a big achievement that no rigging was reported in any constituency, as said by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) GB Justice (R) Syed Tahir Ali Shah to a news channel. He thanked all the political parties for their cooperation in conducting peaceful, smooth and transparent elections.
He said he was satisfied with the law and order situation in the region throughout the day as no unpleasant incident was reported adding holding transparent elections was his responsibility.