Opposition parties continue protest over constituency they claim was rigged against PPP candidate
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has won the majority of seats in the 2020 elections for the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, according to official results announced by the Election Commission.
A notification issued by Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Election Commissioner Raja Shahbaz Khan declared the PTI successful in 10 seats, followed by independent candidates at 7 seats; the PPP at 3; the PMLN at 2; and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen on 1 seat each.
The Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly comprises 33 seats—24 contested through direct polling and nine reserved seats. According to the official results, the PTI has secured four reserved seats for women, while the PMLN and PPP have one each. Similarly, the PTI has two reserved seats for technocrats, while the PPP has one.
In total, the PTI has 16 seats in the assembly—as well as the support of six independents—leaving it with 22 seats.
Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly Speaker Fida Nasahad has summoned a session of the assembly on Nov. 25 following the declaration of the results, with successful candidates from 24 constituencies set to take oath of office. Following the oath-taking, the GBLA will conduct elections for the chief minister, speaker and deputy speaker.
On Monday, protests led by the PPP against the election results turned violent, with demonstrators torching four government vehicles and a building of the Gilgit-Baltistan Forest Department. A day later, the party once again protested against the alleged rigging, as well as the use of force by police to counter the previous day’s rally.
The PPP has announced it would resume its demonstration today (Wednesday), with leaders vowing that they would not allow the federal government to “steal the people’s mandate.”
Federal lawmaker Ali Amin Gandapur told a press conference in Gilgit that the PTI had won the majority of seats in the Gilgit-Baltistan polls and claimed the polling had been “free and fair.” Thanking the people of the region for a 60 percent turnout, he advised the opposition to avoid any unrest and provide evidence of any alleged rigging to the election tribunals.
Claiming that the elections were entirely “impartial,” he said that the opposition was making “empty claims” and should register their complaints per law if they were not satisfied with the results.