GB election chief rejects apprehensions about rigging

Published October 11, 2020
Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Election Commissioner Raja Shahbaz Khan addresses a press conference on Saturday. — APP
Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Election Commissioner Raja Shahbaz Khan addresses a press conference on Saturday. — APP

GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Election Commissioner Raja Shahbaz Khan has said that there is no justification for the hue and cry being raised by the leaders of some political parties about rigging in the coming elections for GB Assembly.

In an apparent response to PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s apprehensions about the possibility of rigging in GB polls, Shahbaz Khan asked the leaders to identify any flaws in the electoral process and “we will fix it”.

“Local leaders of political parties are satisfied with arrangements for GB elections which would be conducted in a free, fair and transparent way on Nov 15,” the official said at a press conference here on Saturday.

He said that the prime minister of Pakistan and federal ministers were not allowed to participate in GB election campaign. “GB elections will be conducted without interference of the federal government.”

The chief election commissioner suggested that leaders from outside GB should avoid coming there to ensure peaceful elections.

He said that the GB Election Commission had adopted the Election Commission of Pakistan’s code of conduct of 2018 with the addition of standard operating procedures regarding Covid-19 with the consultations of all political parties in GB.

On Friday, the Pakistan Peoples Party chairman had warned that any move to rig GB polls would lead to a strong reaction from his party, including a siege of Islamabad and a sit-in in the city.

The Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) had also warned the federal government against making any efforts to rig the GB polls.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2020

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