GILGIT: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has won the by-election to GBLA 13-Astore. According to an unofficial result from all 56 constituencies, PTI’s Khursheed Ahmed Khan won the election by taking 6,219 votes, according to an official results on Sunday.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Rana Farman Ali got 5,225 votes to remain second in the race whereas Abdul Hameed Khan of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) took 3,909 votes.

The seat was vacated after Gilgit-Baltistan’s former chief minister Khalid Khurshid was disqualified in a fake degree case.

About 14 candidates, including nine independent candidates, are in the fray in the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly constituency, GBLA-13 Astore.

A tough contest was expected among Khursheed Ahmed Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Rana Farman Ali of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Abdul Hameed Khan of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Similarly, Inayatullah Mir will try his luck in the election from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), while Attaullah will try his luck as a candidate of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan.

The Election Commission of Gilgit-Baltistan has established 56 polling stations in this constituency of Astore district, out of which 31 polling stations have been declared as normal, 12 as sensitive and 13 as highly sensitive.

To make the polling process transparent in the constituency, the number of polling staff has been kept at 264, while 363 officials will perform security duties during polling. The total number of registered voters in the constituency is 33,378, of which 18,231 are male voters and 15,147 female voters.

In the by-election, a tight contest is expected between Rana Farman of the PML-N, Abdul Hameed of the PPP and Khurshid Ahmed Khan of the PTI.

PML-nominee Rana Farman Ali is a former provincial minister. Ali has 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.

After receiving provincial status under the Presidential Empowerment and Self-Governance Ordinance of 2009, Abdul Hameed Khan also won the first election of the provincial assembly established in Gilgit-Baltistan and remained the secretary for finance, however, in the general elections of 2015 and 2020, he was defeated.

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