PTI’s organisational elections on March 3

| | islamabad
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PTI’s organisational elections on March 3

Friday, 23 February 2024 | PTI | islamabad

Jailed former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s beleaguered party will conduct fresh organisational elections on March 3, a senior leader announced on Thursday, months after the election commission annulled a previous intra-party poll.

Earlier this month, intra-party polls of the 71-year-old former-cricketer-turned-politician’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were postponed after top party leadership asserted that it could “divert” attention from the February 8 general elections.

PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan said that the decision to conduct fresh intra-party polls had been made in the light of instructions from the party founder Imran Khan.

“The intra-party elections will take place on March 3 and this time Ali Zafar will be our candidate for chairman,” he said while addressing a press conference along with Barrister Zafar and other party leaders. He reiterated that it was the decision of Imran Khan. Gohar, who was nominated by Khan to contest the intra-party elections as chairman last year and also won, said that Khan nominated Omar Ayub Khan to contest as secretary general of the party. The party members can submit nomination papers by Friday and Saturday. According to the poll schedule, the scrutiny of the nomination papers will be completed by February 25 and decisions on the nominations will be made by February 27.

The polling for the organisational elections would be held at the party’s central secretariat here and PTI offices in all four provinces of the country, the Dawn newspaper reported. The development came as the Express Tribune newspaper reported that the PTI is expected to hold its intra-party elections in the next 15 days. It had also reported that Gohar Khan has been nominated as the chairman and Raoof Hassan will be the Chief Election Commissioner for PTI’s intra-party polls.

It was not known why Imran Khan changed the candidate for the post of chairman. To a question, Gohar Khan rejected the impression that he had been demoted. Previously, a day after PTI announced the schedule for fresh intra-party polls, the party postponed them on February 2 until after the elections which were held on February 8.

The party cited commitments of members in their respective constituencies and PTI venues being “unlawfully blocked by the administration” as reasons for the delay.

The earlier round of the party’s intra-party polls was declared null and void by the Supreme Court before the general elections. The party also lost its iconic ‘bat’ electoral symbol.

 

 

 

The PTI held an intra-party poll in December last year on the directions of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which saw Gohar Khan’s election as the party chairman.

However, its result, which some disgruntled PTI workers challenged, was annulled after a bitter court battle. Subsequently, the top electoral body deprived the party of its iconic cricket bat symbol, and party leaders contested the elections as independent candidates.

The PTI-backed independents won majority seats at the National Assembly in the February 8 general election.

However, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have agreed on a power-sharing deal to form a new coalition government, which may effectively end Khan’s chances of returning to power.

PML-N’s Shehbaz Sharif has been nominated as the prime minister candidate, while PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari is for the president’s office. The PPP said it would not join the federal cabinet, but the Senate chairman would be that of the PPP.

The PTI on Wednesday rejected the attempts by two of its arch-rivals to form a coalition government, warning that robbing its public endorsement by the “mandate thieves” will result in the worst political instability.

To receive its share of reserved seats for women and minorities by using the platform of other like-minded parties, winning independent candidates backed by the party officially joined the rightwing Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) on Wednesday.

Gohar Khan and Omar Ayub Khan - PTI’s candidate for the prime minister’s post - did not submit affidavits to join the SIC as they plan to contest the party’s fresh organisational elections. PTI SH/GRS ZH AKJ

 

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