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PTI set to form govt in Gilgit Baltistan

Gilgit Baltistan : Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is set to form government in Gilgit Baltistan after securing majority in the Legislative Assembly. The party won 10 seats in the general elections. But after gaining support of six independent winners and allotment of six reserved seats, PTI has secured 22 out of the 33 seats in the Assembly. The Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly consists of 33 seats – 24 of which are contested through direct elections. The remaining nine are reserved seats – six for women and three for technocrats and professionals.

According to a notification by Chief Election Commissioner Gilgit-Baltistan Raja Shahbaz Khan, PTI was declared successful in 10 seats, independent candidates won seven seats, PPP obtained three, PML-N won two, whereas JUI and MWM won one seat each. Results for reserved seats were also announced on Tuesday. A notification was issued for the total three reserved seats for technocrats and six reserved seats for women.

Of the seats for technocrats, PTI won two while PPP won the third. The successful PTI candidates were Akbar Ali and Fazal Raheem, whereas from the PPP, Ghulam Shahzad won. Among the seats reserved for women, PTI secured four, whereas one each were won by PPP and PML-N. Women candidates from PTI that stood victorious were Kaneez Fatima, Surriya Muhammad Zaman, Dilshad Bano, and Kulsoom Ilyas. PPP’s Sadia Danish and PML-N’s Sanam Bibi were the other two winners.

Speaker Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly Fida Nasahad has summoned a session of the assembly on Wednesday. According to public relations officer of the GB Assembly, successful candidates from 24 constituencies will take oath during the session. “After that, the election of Chief Minister, Speaker and Deputy Speaker by new members of the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly will be held as per schedule.” Federal Adviser on Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur thanked the people for helping PTI win a two-third majority in the assembly.

Addressing a press conference in Gilgit, he declared that “free and fair elections were held in Gilgit-Baltistan”. “Observers have also confirmed free and fair elections in their reports,” Gandapur said, adding: “People of Gilgit-Baltistan trust Imran Khan’s leadership.” Gandapur said that despite the harsh weather, the turnout in the elections was 60%. “If anyone has evidence of fraud, bring it to light,” he said, referring to protests by PPP over the GBA-2 constituency’s result.

Gandapur said peaceful protest is a democratic right of everyone, but vandalism, siege and taking law into hands will not be allowed at any cost. He said the vote counting in GBA-2 has been done “five times” at the request of the opposing candidate. However, if anyone is not satisfied with the election results, he should go to the election tribunal. The minister said Opposition parties are only making claims and no one is ready to produce any evidence before GB election commission which had shown “complete impartiality in the election”. Meanwhile, the PPP held protests in four districts of Gilgit-Baltistan, namely, Skardu, Ghanche, Kharmang and Shiger, rejecting the result in the GBA-2 constituency where PTI candidate Fatehullah Khan was declared the winner as opposed to PPP candidate Jameel Ahmed.

The sit-ins were postponed temporarily due to the severely cold weather, with the party vowing to resume the demonstration on Wednesday. The flow of traffic that had been disrupted was thus allowed to return to normal.

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