ISLAMABAD – The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is all set to form its government in Gilgit Baltistan as it succeeded in getting simple majority following joining of six independent lawmakers of the newly elected legislative assembly.
The governing PTI along with its coalition partner— Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM)—had won 10 seats, out of total 23 contested seats, as a result of November 15 elections of the GB Legislative Assembly, according to unofficial results. The party was short of three votes to get the simple majority to form its government in the strategically located mountainous region.
However, all six independent lawmakers recently joined PTI making the total strength of the ruling party as 16. The independents announced their joining in their meetings with Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur and PTI leaders including Saifullah Khan Nyazee and Arshad Dad.
The election of legislative assembly was held on 23 seats, out of total directly elected 24 seats, as the polling was postponed on one seat due to the death of a candidate. The election on this seat is scheduled to be held on November 22.
According to unofficial results, the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim-League-Nawaz (PML-N) secured 3 and 2 seats each. BNF, a smaller party in the region, and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), also secured one seat each.
The GB Legislative Assembly consists of 24 directly elected seats while nine seats in the assembly are allocated to women and technocrats on proportional representation basis. Out of nine seats, the six are reserved for women and three for technocrats. The assembly has total 33 seats.
In September, PTI had formed an electoral alliance with MWM by making a seat adjustment with the latter to contest the GB election. The PTI had run its election campaign with the promise of giving the strategically located territory the status of “provisional province” besides announcing many deployment projects in the area.
On the other hand, the opposition PPP and PML-N have levelled allegations of rigging and foul play against Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party.
Presently, the ruling PTI has not nominated anyone as its candidate for the office of chief minister GB. PTI’s one of the favorite candidates for the position and party’s GB president retired Justice Jaffer Shah had died due to Covid-19 weeks before the polling day. Following his death, the election on the seat of GBLA-3 Gilgit-III was postponed and the by-election on this seat is now scheduled to be held on Sunday.