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"The Voice of Voiceless"

Women were not allowed to vote in Gilgit Baltistan polls, says Bilawal Bhutto

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Skardu November 20, 2020
  • Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday alleged that women were not allowed to exercise their right to vote in the recently held Gilgit-Baltistan elections.
  • “From election day to today, PPP workers are exercising their democratic right and protesting this selected and incompetent prime minister (Imran Khan) in this harsh weather,” Geo News quoted Bilawal as saying in Gilgit Baltistan.
    “They are getting recounts done by putting the election commissioner to shame,” he added.
    Lauding the pressure tactics used by the PPP, Bilawal said that the same election commissioner, who had earlier stated there was no rigging in the GB 21’s stolen polling box was now left with no option but to get the votes in that polling station recounted.
    Pointing out that women from Tangir were not allowed to participate in the election, the PPP chairman said his party will strive to protect votes of women.
    “7,000 women voters were registered and it is the election commissioner’s responsibility to make sure they get an opportunity to exercise their right to vote,” Geo News quoted Bilawal.
    “Another shocking development was a picture shared by a Pakistani journalist on Twitter a day earlier. The picture shows the election commissioner sitting with the Governor and the Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ameen Ali Gandpur, who is a member of the PTI,” Bilawal said.
    “We have always said this is not an election commission, but PTI’s election wing,” he further stated.”How can you sit with ministers of the government when you are the election commissioner?” Bilawal said demanding the election commissioner to issue a clarification on the issue.
    “You have sold the public of Gilgit Baltistan. You have sold this land. You cannot handle this post. You are so shamelessly saying on national television that the elections were clean,” Bilawal criticised election commissioner.
    Bilawal referred to the Free and Fair Election Network’s report, which said that at least three mishaps took place in every polling station.
    “We will not accept any lollipop, will never compromise on the rights of the people,” he added.
    PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that the election commission must not fail the people and should ensure that “every vote is cast and counted”.
    This comes after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Wednesday tore into the Pakistan ruling party for “rigging” Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan elections and said that “no one in Pakistan was ready to accept the fake result” of the elections.
    The complete but unofficial results of all 23 constituencies, where polling was held on Sunday, indicate that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has emerged as the single largest party with 10 seats, followed by seven independents.
    The Pakistan Peoples Party won three seats, the PML-N two, and the Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen, which had a seat adjustment arrangement with the PTI, got one seat, Dawn reported.
    Addressing a press conference in Gilgit a day after polls closed and unofficial results showed the PPP had won only three out of the 24 seats in the GB Legislative Assembly, Bilawal claimed that results were manipulated “overnight” for elections on seats that the PPP was winning and the party was declared to have lost them during the day.

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