Elections for GB Assembly likely to be postponed

Updated 10 Jul 2020

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A view of the Gilgit-Baltistan legislative assembly. — Photo courtesy gbcolours.com/File
A view of the Gilgit-Baltistan legislative assembly. — Photo courtesy gbcolours.com/File

GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltis­tan Election Commission has decided to postpone elections for the GB Assembly till October this year, according to sources.

The new schedule of the elections will be issued in a couple of days.

The GB Assembly elections were scheduled for August 18. The election schedule was announced after the assembly completed its five-year tenure on June 24, after which a caretaker government was formed.

However, the sources said, the GB Election Commission was not in a position to make arrangements for elections in August.

A multiparty conference was called by the GB chief election commissioner on Friday to discuss the matter with the leaders of political parties in the region.

The conference was attended by all political leaders, including president of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s GB chapter Syed Jaffar Shah, president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s GB chapter and former chief minister Hafeezur Rehman, president of Pakistan Peoples Party’s GB chapter Advo­cate Amjad Hussain and leaders of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Jamaat-i-Islami and Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen.

At the conference participants were informed by officials of the GB Election Commission that preparations for holding the elections in August were still incomplete.

The commission needed two more months to prepare the voters list and make other arrangements, they added.

The election commission proposed to postpone the election till October.

Sources said that except the PTI all political parties opposed the decision to postpone the elections and termed it pre-poll rigging by the ruling party.

However, no official statement was issued after the conference.

When contacted, the GB chief election commissioner said no decision had so far been taken in the matter.

Participants of the multiparty conference told Dawn that the GB Election Commission had decided to postpone the elections till October.

The sources said the new election schedule would be announced in next two or three days.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2020