By Shabbir Mir
GILGIT: Ahead of the Gilgit-Baltistan legislative assembly elections, chief election commissioner (CEC) Tahir Ali Shah has voiced concerns about security at 272 polling stations out of 1,022.
A CEC official told The Express Tribune, Shah has declared 119 of these polling stations “highly sensitive” and another 153 “sensitive” for the polls.
Police and security personnel will be deployed in these stations, he added. Details of these polling stations have been shared with the regional home department to ensure timely arrangements for the elections.
“The categorisation of polling stations has been made to ensure polls are free and fair,” the official stated.
Legislative assembly elections will be held in 24 constituencies in seven districts of G-B. At least, 617,305 voters have been registered, of which 288,437 are women.
Electioneering in G-B has picked up pace following the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the region last week. Political analysts believe the G-B governor’s presence and development schemes for G-B announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has worked in Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s favour.
“So far, PML-N’s central leadership appears to be the only one seriously concerned about the party’s image in G-B,” said Akram Khan, a political analyst in Gilgit. “Otherwise, there is marked disinterest from top leaders from other parties in G-B polls.”
Legislative assembly polls will be held on June 8 and the election schedule was announced earlier this week.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2015.