GILGIT: Amjad Hussain Zaidi of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) was elected Speaker of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly and Nazir Ahmed Deputy Speaker by secret ballot on Thursday.
PTI candidate Zaidi won 18 votes, while Ghulam Mohammad, joint PPP candidate, PML-N, JUI-F and Balawaristan National Front-Naji, won eight votes.
Six votes—four for the PTI nominee and two for his opponent—were refused due to incorrect stamping. In all, 32 Representatives cast their ballots in favour of the speaker’s position.
Voting and counting of ballots took place in the presence of polling officers of both candidates.
Following the victory, Mr Zaidi took the oath of the speaker’s office, administered by the outgoing speaker, Fida Mohammed Nashad.
Voting for chief minister slated for tomorrow
The new speaker then chaired the session of the Assembly and arranged an election for the slot of the Deputy Speaker.
Ahmed, the PTI, won 22 seats, while his rival candidate Rehmat Khaliq, the JUI-F, won nine.
Then the current Deputy Spea-ker took the oath of his office.
Earlier, retired PTI Col Ubaidullah Baig took the oath as a member of the GB Legislative Assembly since he had not taken part in the session on Wednesday.
The GB Chief Minister’s slot election will take place on Saturday.
The PTI did not appoint any candidate for office, although its competing parties nominated Amjad Hussain of the PPP as their joint candidate.
Speaking to journalists, Mr. Hussain said that the PTI had struggled to establish a consensus on the selection of a candidate to the post of Chief Minister and that a forward bloc had arisen in the party.
He said that if the forward bloc fielded a candidate for the CM slot, the other parties would opt for him.
He accused the PTI of forcing decisions made in Islamabad without having on board its state leadership and its legislatures.
Mr Hussain called for the establishment of a judicial commission under the Supreme Court of Pakistan to investigate the suspected fraud of the GB elections.
Out of a total of 33 representatives (24 directly elected and nine reserved) in the current GB Legislative Assembly, the PTI and its supporter, Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen, have 23 members and 10 opposing parties.