Election tribunals set up in N. Areas
19 October 2004
Gilgit: The Northern Areas administration has set up election tribunals in all five districts of the region. The tribunals will soon start functioning to dispose of cases relating to the vote disputes and related complaints. The official sources said that the district and sessions judges would be the judges of these tribunals in their respective districts. They said that petitioners would file their petitions through the election commissioner in the tribunal within 45 days of declaration of the official results of the legislative council and local bodies. They said they did not know about the tenure of these tribunals but normally the cases were set aside within six-month period adding that there was no precedence in the past in which the decisions of the election tribunals had ever been implemented. The sources however said a similar petition was filed by Syed Assad Zaidi against Aga Mohammad Ali Shah in Kharmang (NA- XII Skardu) in 1999 NALC elections which were decided in favour of the former in June 2004 but the Northern Areas Chief Court granted stay order to the latter and eventually remained undecided till the fresh elections. Meanwhile the sources said that police had arrested two polling officers of constituency (NA-III Gilgit) for their reported negligence during the polls in which they detained officials issued ballot papers without fixing official stamp on their back. They said the issue of unstamped ballot papers is still simmering in constituency NA-III Gilgit where the PPP-P candidate Aftab Haider had filed an application with the NAs election commission to investigate the matter to ascertain whether the polling officers committed the mistakes.