By Shabbir Mir
GILGIT: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate Imran Wakeel won the by-elections held in Gilgit-Baltistan’s Tangir Valley of Diamer district.
As per unofficial results release on Wednesday, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl candidate Gulbar Khan was a runner-up in the elections in which nearly 7,000 women were barred from casting ballots as clerics did not permit them to take part in the polls. According to unofficial results, Wakeel obtained 39,000 votes while JUI-F candidate Gulbar Khan secured 2,300 votes.
The seat for GBLA-18, Diamer 4 fell vacant in May after the death of the then minister for forest Haji Muhammad Wakeel.
Polling for by-election in GBLA-18 started at 8am and ended at 4pm without any break. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also congratulated Imran Wakeel on winning the election.
The total registered voters in the valley were slightly over 15,000. But without women, the men voted in 26 polling stations of which four had been declared highly sensitive. In addition, law-enforcement agencies and the army were also deployed to maintain law and order.
G-B Force Commander Major General Asim Munir and Chief Election Commissioner Justice Tahir Ali Shah also visited the valley to inspect the polling process.
An official requesting anonymity told The Express Tribune the chief election commissioner was dissatisfied over the lack of participation by women in by-polls.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2016.