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PTI loses its bat symbol as ECP scrapes intra-party election

The decision had been reserved earlier
FIle photo
FIle photo

The Election Commission of Pakistan declared that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s intra-party elections were null and void on Friday.

The Commission said PTI would not be given the bat symbol in the upcoming general election as it had failed to organise the election as per its constitution, Election Rules and Election Act.

It also used the word ‘alleged chairman’ for Barrister Gohar Khan.

“The certificate dated 4th December, 2023 and Form-65 filled by the alleged chairman is regretted and rejected,” the decision said.

The case was heard by a five-member bench of the ECP led by Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja. The decision was authored by Justice (r) Ikram Ullah.

The decision said that no documents could prove that Niaz Ullah Niazi, who presided over the latest election, had been appointed chief election commissioner by the party.

It added that there was no document proving that Jamal Akbar Insari, the previous CEC, had been removed from his post.

Also Read: PTI reacts to ECP’s verdict on its ‘bat’ symbol

In fact, the ECP added, Omar Ayub has never formally been appointed the party’s secretary general and the post still rests with Asad Umar.

The decision goes on to say that Imran Khan’s term as chairman expired in June of this year so he had now power to extend any office bearer. It adds that the party was supposed to be run by a chief organiser in the interim period but no appointment was made.

On November 23, the ECP had ordered the PTI to hold intra-party elections within 20 days or risk losing its electoral symbol.

The party had organised the election on December 2 where Barrister Gohar Khan had been elected chairman.

All of PTI’s office holders had been elected unopposed in the election.

In response, 15 different petitions had been filed in the ECP challenging the PTI’s intra-party election. One of the petitions had been filed by Akbar S Babar, the disgruntled party member who had also filed the foreign funding case.

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