Former jailed prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party has agreed to conduct intra-party elections within the 20-day time frame set by the election commission to retain the ‘bat’ as its electoral symbol, according to a media report on Tuesday.
The decision by the core committee of the PTI comes days after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ruled that its intra-party polls were not transparent, ordering the party to hold new elections if it wishes to retain its election symbol. The party was asked by the ECP to hold fresh elections within 20 days in a reserved verdict announced on November 23.
General elections are scheduled to be held in Pakistan on February 8. In the verdict, the ECP stated that the PTI failed to hold free and fair intra-party elections, adding that the polls were objectionable and controversial.
“PTI’s intra-party elections cannot be accepted,” stated the verdict, directing it to hold polls and
submit the record within seven days.
The party’s Central Media Department said its members discussed crucial issues including the country’s current political climate, the party’s organisational activities, the ongoing treatment of PTI leaders and workers, and the intra-party polls during the core committee meeting.
The meeting also reiterated the demand for foolproof security arrangements during former cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s court appearance. A PTI spokesperson said that chairman Khan has an important message for the leaders and workers in his court appearance.
“The government’s attempts to endanger the security, security and life of Chairman Imran Khan in the past are not hidden from anyone. His safety and security is of utmost priority: millions of workers from across the country want to go to court to welcome their beloved leader,” he claimed. Khan, being a former iconic international cricketer, is considered synonymous with the (cricket) bat, the PTI’s election symbol.
The 71-year-old former prime minister is lodged in Adiala Jail at Rawalpindi facing dozens of cases. In August, The election commission gave the PTI a final warning to hold the polls or it could be declared ineligible to obtain an election symbol. The PTI elections were due on June 13, 2021, under the party’s Constitution but an extension was granted by the ECP. Finally, the party held the election on June 10, 2022, but the ECP rejected it, saying that the party had amended its Constitution two days before holding the polls.