Elections 2024: ECP scraps PTI’s intra-party elections, revokes ‘Bat’ symbol

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Elections 2024: ECP scraps PTI’s intra-party elections, revokes ‘Bat’ symbol

ISLAMABAD: A political thunderbolt has struck Pakistan’s landscape as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decried Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party’s intra-party polls as “unconstitutional” and revoked their “Bat” as electoral symbol head of the February 8 general elections.

The five-member ECP bench, led by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, released a detailed verdict after months of scrutiny.

The ruling underscores the Election Commission’s insistence on adherence to democratic processes within political parties. PTI’s failure to conduct intra-party elections as mandated by the constitution led to the withdrawal of the symbolic representation, signaling a deviation from the established democratic norms.

The Commission’s decision emphasized the importance of upholding democratic principles and conducting intra-party elections in a transparent and constitutional manner. The issuance of a certificate regarding intra-party elections and submission of Form 65 were deemed essential components in compliance with the constitutional requirements.

Barrister Gohar slams ECP’s move, vows legal battle
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has voiced its intention to challenge the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision, nullifying the intra-party elections, by taking the matter to the Lahore High Court (LHC).

Barrister Gohar, the party’s recently elected chairman, led the charge, his words echoing with defiance and a touch of indignation. “We will fight for a free election,” he declared, accusing the electoral watchdog of a pre-meditated conspiracy against PTI.

Questioning the credibility of Akbar S. Babar, whose petition was central to the Commission’s decision, Gohar emphasized that Babar’s standing within the party is not well established. He underscored PTI’s transparency, asserting that no other political entity has faced such stringent scrutiny.

Expressing hope for the High Court’s intervention, Gohar emphasized PTI’s non-acceptance of the ECP’s decision. He clarified that their party did not engage in the election contest, stating that he was elected uncontested as the PTI Chairman, with the nomination endorsed by Imran Khan himself. However, following the Commission’s ruling annulling the intra-party election, Gohar’s chairmanship and the party’s symbol were revoked.

Cipher case: Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood get bail
Earlier today, the Supreme Court of Pakistan approved the bail of former PTI chairman Imran Khan and Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case.

The apex court accepted the PTI leaders’ petition against the high court verdict in the case. They have been granted bail in exchange for bail bonds of Rs1 million each.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan Sardar Tariq Masood and comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Athar Minallah, heard the petitions of Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood against the Islamabad High Court verdict in the cipher case.

Justice Minallah remarked that the former prime minister is innocent, as no crime could be proved against him.

At the start of the hearing, the Supreme Court accepted PTI lawyer Hamid Khan’s request for some time to extend arguments on a petition against the indictment, while the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) prosecutor adopted the stance that a notice had not been issued on Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s bail application.

The acting CJP remarked that the application against the old charge sheet has become ineffective; if there is any objection to the new charge sheet, it should be challenged in the high court.

ECP promises level playing field after PTI’s complaints
As Pakistan’s political landscape is heating up, and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) finds itself in the crossfire, the electoral watchdog has taken important notice of complaints regarding the alleged lack of a fair playing field for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the upcoming elections.

The Commission issued letters to the Provincial Election Commissioner, Chief Secretaries, IGs of Sindh, and Islamabad following complaints of hurdles in the electoral process, including reports of obstruction faced by candidates and interference with the submission of nomination papers.

Addressing these concerns, the ECP emphasized the need to address all complaints in adherence to the law, ensuring a level playing field for all political participants. Assurances were provided to the PTI regarding the resolution of their grievances related to the fairness of the election environment.

In response to the complaints raised by the PTI, a delegation, including Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s daughter Mehr Bano Qureshi and party lawyer Shoaib Shaheen Ali Bukhari, met with ECP officials as directed by the Supreme Court. The delegation highlighted their concerns about facing obstacles during the election campaign.

Elections 2024: Imran Khan submits nomination papers from Mianwali
Incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan’s nomination papers have been submitted for the upcoming elections from prison cell in Adiala Jail.

Imran Khan’s nomination papers were filed for the National Assembly Constituency NA 89 in Mianwali.

Yesterday, amidst media frenzy, Khan signed the documents that could pave his way back to the National Assembly, setting the stage for a potentially explosive poll battle.

The founder PTI leader’s lawyer, Rai Muhammad Ali, was instrumental in facilitating this pivotal moment. He personally conveyed the nomination papers to Adiala Jail, underscoring Imran Khan’s intent to contest elections not only from Mianwali but also from significant constituencies in Lahore and Islamabad.

Parvez Elahi’s wife stopped from submitting nomination papers
Former Punjab chief minister Parvez Elahi’s wife, Qaisara Elahi, was stopped on Friday from submitting the nomination papers ahead of the general elections.

Elahi’s wife had reached the gate to submit the nomination papers from NA-64, where she was stopped.