SKARDU All arrangements have been made to hold free, fair, and transparent elections in Gilgit-Baltistan today (Thursday) for 23 seats out of 24 constituencies of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly. Election Commission spokesman told TheNation on Wednesday that 253 candidates are contesting for 23 slots. The candidates include 23 from the PPP, 15 from the PML(N), 14 from PML(Q), and 19 from MQM, whereas some candidates of ANP, JUI, and TIP are also contesting elections in Gilgit and Diamar districts. 2164 ballot boxes were sent for 982 polling stations along with polling staff. 687,229 voters will cast their votes from 08:00am till 04:00pm without any interval. Foolproof security arrangements have also been made with the cooperation of Northern Scouts and the Armed Forces at all polling stations, especially the sensitive ones. Polling staff along with polling material was sent to Gultari Tehsil of Skardu district through two Army helicopters because the road between Skardu and Gultari was blocked due to snowfall. These elections are special because women are contesting in the general elections for the first time in the history of Gilgit-Baltistan, as females were members on special seats in the previous assembly. 30 candidates are contesting the election in Skardu district while in Ghangche district 10 candidates are in the run.