ASTORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Khurshid Khan won the by-election to Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly’s seat GBLA-13 Astore-1 held here on Saturday.
As per details, PTI candidate Khurshid Khan secured 6,219 votes, PML-N’s Rana Farman Ali took 5,225 and PPP’ candidate secured 4,079 votes in the by-election to GBLA-13 Astore-1.
There were at least 14 candidates, including nine independent candidates in the run for the GBLA-13 by-election.
The main contestants are: Khurshid Ahmed Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Rana Farman Ali of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Abdul Hameed Khan of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Similarly, Inayatullah Mir contested the by-election on the ticket of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) while Attaullah was the candidate of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan.
The seat fell vacant after Gilgit-Baltistan’s former chief minister Khalid Khurshid was disqualified in a fake degree case.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has denotified Khalid Khursheed as Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan and declared the seat as vacant.
Earlier, the Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Court had disqualified Chief Minister Khalid Khursheed Khan in a fake degree case.
The petitioner had argued that Khursheed’s law degree was fake and he should be disqualified under Articles 62 and 63. Khursheed claimed to have received a law degree from London but it could not be verified.
Khalid Khursheed was in office since December 2020 and has been a close aide of PTI chairman.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) collected major victory on three out of a total four provincial seats in Lahore during the Punjab by-polls in July last year.
The total number of registered voters in the constituency is 33,378, of which 18,231 are men and 15,147 women. Tight security arrangements were made for the by-polls and 363 officials were deployed to deal with any unwanted situation.
PML-nominee Rana Farman Ali is a former provincial minister and had contested as a candidate of PML-N in the last three general elections from the constituency, out of which he was defeated in the 2009 and 2020 elections, but he won with a large margin in the 2015 elections and was appointed Minister of Local Government.
The PPP has fielded Abdul Hameed, an old player of Gilgit-Baltistan politics. Abdul Hameed Khan was previously a council member for the first time in the 1994 elections and re-elected in the 2004 elections to the Legislative Council and continues to perform his duties as adviser on tourism.
The PTI has fielded retired judge Khurshid Khan, the father of former Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister Khalid Khurshid, for a nerve-shattering contest. The PTI has taken this decision on the wish of former GB chief minister Khalid Khurshid.
In the general elections of Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly held in November 2020, the candidate of the PTI from this constituency, Khalid Khurshid, won by obtaining 5,297 votes. Among his rival candidates, Rana Farman Ali of PML-N with 4,033 votes was at the second number.
While Abdul Hameed Khan of PPP secured third place with 3,545 votes. Around 16, 298 votes were cast in this election, which was 49 percent of the total vote.