The caretaker government in Gilgit-Baltistan has announced legislative assembly elections will be held on June 8, CM Secretariat’s spokesperson Sajjadul Haq told The Express Tribune on Friday.
“The decision was taken after consulting the chief election commissioner,” Haq said. “The onus lies on the election commission to announce an election schedule and hold free and fair polls in the region.”
The spokesperson added the chief minister has pledged full support to the election commission in this regard.
The announcement has removed the uncertainty triggered by recent statements issued by the caretaker ministers who said it was difficult to hold elections on the given date.
Over the past few weeks, a regional Urdu newspaper carried reports on ministers voicing reservations about polls in G-B by June. A communiqué issued by the Chief Minister’s Office on Friday warned these ministers to stop making statements in the media as official dates have already been announced.
“The ministers should act with maturity and steer clear from instigating debates regarding the legislative assembly elections,” added the CM’s handout.
According to the official statement, Caretaker Chief Minister Sher Jehan Mir had vowed to ensure polls are conducted in a transparent manner. “The chief minister has said the caretaker government is performing its duties to hold free and fair elections in the region,” it read.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2015.