Gilgit-Baltistan election: Imran Khan’s PTI emerges as single-largest party amid reports of rigging


Gilgit-Baltistan (PoK): Imran Khan`s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has emerged as the single largest party in Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly elections by securing 10 seats amid reports of poll rigging. 

Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was followed by Bilawal Bhutto`s Pakistan Peoples` Party (PPP), which secured 3 seats and Nawaz Sharif`s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) got two seats, according to Dawn report. Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) won one seat, while seven seats of the GBLA have been won by independent candidates.

In GBLA-02 (Gilgit-II) constituency, PTI`s Fatehullah Khan was declared the winner with a lead of only two votes after the recounting of votes. He received 6,696 votes against 6,694 bagged by PPP`s Jameel Ahmed. Earlier, Ahmed was declared the winner with 8,817 votes against 8,200 secured by PTI candidate Fatehullah Khan. 

As the elections favoured Imran Khan`s party, major political parties have hit the streets alleging that the polls were rigged. Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Skardu and Gilgit areas against alleged vote-rigging in the elections, according to the Dawn report.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari reportedly alleged rigging in three constituencies. Addressing a sit-in in Gilgit, he said rigging was made to snatch the mandate of PPP in Gilgit 1, Ghizer 3 and a constituency in Skardu.

Dawn quoted Bilawal as saying at a press conference that results were manipulated “overnight” for elections on seats that the PPP was winning and the party was declared to have lost them during the day. “How can the so-called Election Commission ignore this kind of open and naked rigging? How can they ignore the theft of votes of this area`s people?” he added.

Bilawal further warned of grave consequences and refused to leave unless the stolen mandate of the people`s is returned. In Ghizar, PPP`s Muhammad Ayub also staged a sit-in against rigging in Ghizar 4 constituency. “We will fight against this injustice. Today, our mandate has been hijacked through pre-poll rigging. We will continue till we get justice as the authorities are aware of this rigging”, said Muhammad Ayub while addressing his supporters.

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PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif reportedly claimed that Imran Khan`s PTI won a few seats in Gilgit Baltistan`s elections through `rigging`, `bullying`, and with the help of turncoats.

On her Twitter, Maryam wrote that Imran`s PTI failing to achieve an absolute majority in the northern region (illegally occupied) is a “shameful defeat” for the incumbent government, the News International reported. The elections were held amidst relentless protest by the people of Gilgit Baltistan against the Pakistan government`s “illegal occupation” in the region.

Meanwhile, India has slammed Pakistan for holding elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and said any action to alter the status of the militarily-occupied region has no legal basis. 

(With Agency Inputs)

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