The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has officially lost its appeal to retain its recognisable “bat” electoral symbol for the forthcoming general election on February 8 before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) directive preceded the decision, which adds to the controversy surrounding PTI’s internal polls.

PTI’S ENGAGEMENT POST SUPREME COURT ORDER:

The ECP decided to voice its stance on the party’s intra-party polls just hours after the PTI engaged with the Election Commission in response to the Supreme Court’s concerns regarding an unfair playing field.

Though the PTI had expected a different response, the commission had given it assurances about its complaints.

SCRUTINY OF INTRA-PARTY POLLS:

The ECP raised some eyebrows with its close examination of the PTI’s internal elections, as well as the election of Barrister Gohar Ali Khan as the new chairman.

The party conducted these surveys on December 3 in reaction to the ECP’s decision to void intra-party polls in June 2022. The PTI has 20 days to hold fresh elections in order to maintain their electoral symbol, as per the ECP.

BACKLASH AND ALLEGATIONS:

Former founding member Akbar S. Babar criticised the PTI, alleging that a rigged selection process was employed to exclude party workers and favour a chosen group of lawyers.

In response to Babar’s accusations, a plethora of similar-minded petitions demanding an open review and the cancellation of the internal party election were submitted.

Taimur Khan Jhagra and other PTI leaders criticised the ECP’s decision and emphasised the party’s resolve to win the next elections.

PTI leader Gohar expressed his disapproval of the ECP’s investigation, made reference to a “Plan B,” and vowed to file an appeal with a higher court.

 

 

 

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