[News]Electioneering gets momentum in Gilgit-Baltistan
October 30, 2009 2 Comments
GILGIT, Oct 29: Electioneering is getting momentum as almost all national and local parties are stretching their muscles for giving each other tough time in the upcoming elections for the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly.
The elections would be held on Nov 12 under the supervision of the local court. After implementation of the self-governance order, this would be the first general election in the region. Gilgit-Baltistan has no representation in the National Assembly and Senate while the Constitution of Pakistan is silent about the status of the 72,496 sq/km area having a population of about two million.
The Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Q, Pakistan Muslim League-N, Tehrik-i-Insaf, Jamaat-i-Islami, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Awami National Party and Gilgit-Baltistan Democratic Alliance have fielded their candidates in all constituencies to contest elections for the 36-member assembly which has been empowered to legislate on 61 subjects.
Public gatherings, corner meetings and door-to-door campaigns of candidates have created hustle and bustle in every city and village of the mountainous region. The huge billboards, banners and wall-chalking of different candidates have changed the face of towns and vehicles have been decorated with stickers carrying photos of parties and candidates.
Most of former public representatives are in the run with zeal while many newcomers are also contesting the polls. So far, every party claims to be the ‘popular’ party of the region but the actual popularity would be decided after the polls.
Over 714,000 voters would use their democratic right in 989 polling stations for 24 general seats in the six districts of the region. Six women and same number of technocrats would be elected by the members elected in the general elections.
The biggest constituency of the region is Gilgit-2, LA-2 where 62,048 voters are registered by the Election Commission of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Analysts say that the political arena of the region is not clear so far and nobody can predict exactly as which party would get maximum seats in the polls next month. The attitude of voters varies, however, Gilgit-1, LA-1 would witness tough competition and candidates may try to get ‘sectarian’ sympathy of the voters, some observers say. In Diamer district, as is said the tradition, candidates would buy decisive chunk of votes besides using the ‘racial’ lines which plays major role in the elections. There are four constituencies in Diamer but position of the candidates would be clear only on the polling day.courtesy