PTI leads in PoK Gilgit-Baltistan controversial elections

Gilgit-Baltistan: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is in the lead in eight of the 24 constituencies of Gilgit-Baltistan province in the elections, according to unofficial results.

According to a report by Geo News, as of 3:30 am on Monday, the unofficial results showed Raja Muhammad Zakeria Khan winning the GBA-7, Skardu-I constituency with 5,288 votes, Syed Amjad Ali winning the GBA-11, Kharmang constituency with 6,612 votes, Shamsul Haq Lone winning the GBA-14, Astore-II constituency with 5,418 votes and Raja Azam Khan winning the GBA-12, Shigar constituency with 10,349 votes.

After PTI, the Independents are in the lead in six constituencies.

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Meanwhile, the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) is in the lead in five constituencies including victories in four constituencies, namely, by Jamil Ahmed in the GBA-2, Gilgit-II constituency with 6,848 votes; Muhammad Ismail in the GBA-24, Ghanche-III constituency with 6,204 votes; and Amjad Hussain in both the GBA-I, Gilgit-I constituency with 11,178 votes and GBA-4, Nagar-I constituency with 11,178 votes, Geo News reported.

It was further reported that the Pakistani Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) is winning in two constituencies and Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (F) (JUI-F) is leading in one constituency.

Citing the unofficial results Geo News further reported Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen candidate winning the GBA-8, Skardu-II constituency with 7,842 votes.

The voting process in the region began at 8 am and continued until 5 pm without any interval on Sunday.

The elections were held amidst protest by people of Gilgit Baltistan against the Pakistan government’s “illegal occupation” in the region

On November 1, Pakistan Prime Minister Khan had announced granting of provisional-provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan despite the ongoing protests against the Pakistan government over its decision to change the status of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Those living in Gilgit-Baltistan hit the streets and said that they will never accept Pakistan’s involvement in their region.

The Pakistan Peoples Party has demanded that candidates of the ruling PTI be disqualified from the election alleging rigging.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who has been in the region for weeks and leading the party’s political campaign, said that the election commission must not fail the people and should ensure that “every vote is cast and counted”.

“The people’s enthusiasm is a testament to their commitment to democracy,” he said.

PPP secretary general Nayyar Bukhari demanded that candidates of the ruling PTI be disqualified from the election.

“The announcement of development projects during an election is a clear sign of rigging. The presence of government ministers in GB is tantamount to influencing the election,” he said in a statement, adding that PTI candidates from areas where projects have been announced should be disqualified.

“Efforts to influence the election are proving fears of rigging,” he said.

Geo News reported PPP Senator Sherry Rehman had also expressed her deep concern over the “deliberate restrictions on women’s voting” in the Gilgit Baltistan Election 2020, and voiced worry over alleged rigging at the polling stations.

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