Astore: The voting process has commenced for the Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly constituency GBLA-13 Astore-1. The seat fell vacant due to the disqualification of former Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan in a fake degree case.
There are 14 candidates, including nine independent contenders, participating in the election.
Notable among the contenders are Khursheed Ahmed Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Rana Farman Ali representing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and Abdul Hameed Khan from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Additionally, Inayatullah Mir aims to secure victory under the banner of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), while Attaullah seeks success as a candidate of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan.
This constituency has 33,378 registered voters, with 18,231 males and 15,147 females.
A tough contest is expected between Rana Farman of PML-N, Abdul Hameed of PPP, and Khurshid Ahmed Khan of PTI.
In the November 2020 general elections, Khalid Khurshid Khan, the PTI candidate for this constituency, emerged victorious with 5,297 votes. Coming in second place was Rana Farman Ali of PML-N, who secured 4,033 votes. Abdul Hameed Khan of PPP took the third spot with 3,545 votes. The total voter turnout in this election was approximately 16,298, representing 49 percent of the total eligible votes.
Rana Farman Ali, the PML-N candidate, brings experience as a former provincial minister and has previously contested three general elections in this constituency, with varying results.
Abdul Hameed Khan of PPP has a longstanding presence in Gilgit Baltistan politics, having served as a council member and performed advisory roles.
Retired judge Khurshid Khan, representing PTI, enters the race at the behest of former Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid. In the 2020 general elections, Khalid Khurshid secured victory for PTI in this constituency.