Pak NGOs reports massive irregularities in Gilgit-Baltistan elections

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Islamabad, Nov.17 (ANI): The Pakistan government may have denied reports of massive irregularities in Gilgit-Baltistan elections, but a report issued by a coalition of non-government organisations (NGO's) has said the polls were marred by fallacies.

" Government interference, weak administration, procedural irregularities and erroneous voter lists characterised the Gilgit-Baltistan polls," the report compiled by the Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) said.

The report blamed the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) of misutilising state's resources and authority.

" The Prime Minister's public speech in Skardu two days before the elections was a clear case of political influence over the vote in favour of his party's candidates," The Dawn quoted the report, as saying.

Earlier, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan's (HRCP)special observation team had reported that the whole poll procedure was marred by flaws, which was caused by the hurriedly organised elections and insufficient preparations.

The mission also received numerous complaints that the about government representatives, including Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, members of his cabinet and the acting-governor of Gilgit-Baltistan, trying to woo voters at misutilizing government's money.

The PML-N, PML-Q, MQM and several independent candidates expressed serious reservations about the role of the Gilgit-Baltistan acting-governor Qamar Zaman Kaira, who actively campaigned for the PPP candidates.

The HRCP observers also found that the ink claimed to be indelible was easily removable. At many polling stations arrangements for secrecy of ballot were either absent or inadequate.

Gilani had termed the polls as 'free' and 'fair'.

Responding to the allegations of poll rigging made by Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Gilani said it has almost became a tradition to blame the party in power.

"This is our tradition to level rigging allegation. But I assure the House that the election in Gilgit-Baltistan has been free and fair," Gilani had said. (ANI)

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