The Pakistan People’s Party was expected to pick a candidate for Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan on Monday after winning a majority of the seats in the newly created Legislative Assembly, but allegations by at least two opposition parties that the government in Islamabad rigged the election in its favour have marred the post-election atmosphere in the region.
The PPP has won 12 of the 21 seats for which results have been notified. The Legislative Assembly has 24 seats, but the election was put off in one after the death of a candidate. Results of two constituencies where re-polling was held in some polling stations are to be announced later.
The PML(N) and the PML(Q) have won two seats each, while the MQM and the JuI (F) have one a seat each. Three seats went to independents.
The PPP was expected to pick a chief ministerial candidate at a meeting of its central executive committee on Monday.
But the MQM, an estranged coalition partner of the PPP, has charged the government with rigging the election with the help of state machinery and demanded re-polling in nine polling stations instead of the announced four.
MQM leader Farooq Sattar, who is also a Federal Minister, said that as a result of the rigging, as alleged by his party, the system introduced in Gilgit-Baltistan was a “democracy-deficit system”.
Clashes were reported to have taken place in Skardu on Sunday between supporters of MQM and PPP.
The PML(Q) has also alleged irregularities in the election but its secretary-general Mushahid Hussain Sayed said they accepted the results for the sake of democracy.