Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party is set to form the next government in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as it emerged as the largest political party in the legislative assembly elections in the region which was marred by allegations of irregularities and violence, local media reported, citing unofficial results.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) has won 23 seats while Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was second with eight seats and the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) secured just six seats, the state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
Muslim Conference (MC) and Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Party (JKPP) were successful in one seat each.
However, Geo TV reported that PTI won 25 seats, followed by PPP with nine and PML-N six. One seat each was won by Muslim Conference and Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Party.
Thus, PTI got a simple majority to form the government without support of any other party. It is for the first time that it will form a government in PoK.
Traditionally, the ruling party in the country wins the elections in Pok. The assembly has a total of 53 members but only 45 are directly elected, while five seats are reserved for women and three are meant for the technocrats.
The 45 members directly elected included 33 residents of PoK and 12 refugees’ who came over the years from Kashmir and settled in various cities of Pakistan.
India has previously slammed Pakistan for its decision to hold elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and said any action to alter the status of the militarily occupied region has no legal basis.
PTI Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry, who is the front-runner candidate for the ‘Prime Minister’ of the region, won from his seat. Former ‘Prime Minister’ and PML-N leader Raja Farooq Haider retained his seat. Another ex-‘Prime Minister’ and chief of Muslim Conference, Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, also won.
A total of 587 candidates contested the elections in 33 constituencies of various PoK districts and 121 candidates in 12 constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir refugees settled in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Opposition parties, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), have accused Khan’s party of “rigging” the elections held on Sunday.