Passing of the baton: G-B gears up for elections next year
The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by the chief minister, PPP’s Secretary Information Rana Nazeem told The Express Tribune on Saturday, adding that elections would be held after the G-B Assembly’s five-year term ends on December 11.
During his latest visit to G-B, Tahir put the rumours to rest by denying that his government had any intention of holding early elections in October. “We respect the regional government’s mandate,” said the federal minister during a news conference held in Gilgit earlier this week, adding that the federal government had no issue with the December date.
To preempt any move towards early elections, the G-B Assembly prepared a resolution signed by various lawmakers, asking the federal government to desist from holding elections this year as it would be a violation of the Constitution.
PPP’s Ayub Shah read out the resolution in the assembly on March 13. “Any attempt to hold elections before that would be tantamount to breach of law,” he said.
Under the Empowerment and Self Governance Order 2009, elections across G-B were held in November 2009, paving way the way for Mehdi Shah to be appointed the region’s first chief minister. Due to the larger issue of Kashmir, the constitutional status of this governance has remained ambiguous since independence.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2014.