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Gilgit Baltistan: Polling ends, vote counting begins in several places 
Gilgit Baltistan
PTI Twitter page

Gilgit Baltistan: Polling ends, vote counting begins in several places 

| @indiablooms | 15 Nov 2020, 08:44 pm

Quetta: Vote counting in several cities across the politically crucial Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan has started as voting ended at 5 pm for the Assembly polls on Sunday.

Without interval, voting in the region took place from 8 am to 5 pm.

As many as 330 candidates, including four women, are vying for the 24 general seats in the third legislative assembly of Gilgit-Baltistan, reports Dawn News.

Pictures and videos showed citizens lined up outside polling stations, wearing face masks and observing social distancing to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Many also braved heavy snowfall in the upper areas of GB to cast their vote, the newspaper reported.

 Ahead of the polls, 8,000 bags containing face covers, masks, gloves and sanitisers were dispatched for staff at polling stations.

Keeping the polling in mind, more than 15,000 security personnel from GB, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who has been in the region for weeks and leading the party's political campaign,  earlier urged the Election Commission to ensure that all votes are cast and counted.

"The people of GB’s enthusiasm is a testament to their commitment to democracy. The election commission must not fail them and ensure every vote is cast & counted. #TeerPayThappa," the political leader tweeted.

PPP Secretary General Nayyar Bukhari has even demanded that candidates of the ruling PTI be be disqualified from the election.  

"The announcement of development projects during an election is a clear sign of rigging. The presence of government ministers in GB is tantamount to influencing the election," he was quoted as saying by Dawn News in a statement, adding that PTI candidates from areas where projects have been announced should be disqualified.

"Efforts to influence the election are proving fears of rigging," he said.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi  earlier reacted to the allegations made by opposition parties and was quoted as saying by Dawn News: "Parties win and lose, it is a part of politics. But the people's trust in the election process must be maintained."

"There were no clashes or fights, the campaign was completed. According to my assessment, their expectations might not be fulfilled. But if they make noise about rigging, it would not be correct," he said while speaking to the media in Multan.  

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