GB Election Commission takes a U-Turn: Polling postponed

GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan Election Commission has reversed its own decision of holding elections in the region on 18th day of August, 2020.

Citing lack of preparation and ‘current regional situation’, the Chief Election Commissioner, after chairing an “All Parties Conference”, has announced that polling will now be held after a “few month”, according to a press release shared by the GB Information Department.

While the statement issued by the Election Commission claims that there was consensus over postponement of the elections, PPP and PMLN have rejected the decision.

Leaders of the two major parties have, in press statements, accused the ruling party, PTI, of delaying the elections to be able to “buy time for horse-trading and electoral engineering.”

Nawaz Khan Naji, Supreme Leader of the nationalist Balawaristan National Front has also opposed the decision.

It is pertinent to note that the voters’ list, compiled five years back, have not been updated yet. There are also demands for demarcation of new constituencies, especially in Hunza, Diamer and Ghizer district.

Independent analysts and observers had caste doubts over the elections after President Arif Alvi issued a notification declaring August 18 as the “Polling Day” in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The people of Gilgit-Baltistan vote to elect their representatives who then form the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly.

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