GILGIT: Polling for the by-election in the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly’s constituency Nagar-4 will be held today (Sunday).

The constituency has total 23,467 registered voters, including 12,858 male and 10,639 female.

According to the GB Election Commission, total 42 polling stations have been established, including 16 for women, with 98 separate polling booths for men and women.

The seat had fallen vacant after opposition leader in GB Assembly from PPP Amjad Hussain had resigned from the constituency as he had won two seats, including Gilgit-1, during the general elections held in November last year.

A close contest is expected among three candidates, including Zulfiqar Ali Behashti of PTI, Javed Hussain of PPP and Ayub Waziri of Islami Tehreek Pakistan (ITP).

The PML-N had withdrawn its candidate from the poll race in protest against alleged pre-poll rigging by the GB government.

The opposition parties have accused the PTI of using government machinery during campaign for its candidate.

The PPP and ITP workers accused the GB chief minister, ministers and office-bearers of the ruling party of buying votes in the constituency.

They claimed the federal minister for Kashmir affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan and GB ministers had violated the election code of conduct by campaigning for the PTI candidate.

The candidates were also seen not observing the Covid-19-related standard operating procedures during the canvassing.

Meanwhile, Nagar deputy commissioner Zulqarnain Khan said all arrangements had been made for smooth conduct of the by-election. He said steps had been taken to ensure observance of SOPs on the polling day.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2021

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