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Intra-party elections: PTI to issue notification of office-bearers today

Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
Monday, Dec 04, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will today issue a notification on the intra-party election of its new acting chairman, general secretary and provincial office-bearers, who were elected unopposed on Friday.

The notification is being hurriedly issued by its election commission eight days before the deadline.

The party stalwarts understand that the so-called elections would be challenged by the founder members of the party who are not satisfied with the way these were conducted.

Interestingly, the seat of party president has been left vacant as no election was announced for the office.

Incarcerated president of the PTI, Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi, has been ignored in the list announced on Friday.

The PTI sources pointed out that the election of the office of president of party was not provided in the constitution of party. The ceremonial office was announced by the chairman last year to lure Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi into the party’s fold.

The new president would be designated in the light of the advice of party’s former chairman in a day or two but the announcement would come from the acting chairman.

No election would be required for this slot. The caretaker/acting chairman will announce the new president’s appointment and it is likely that Elahi would be retained as the president.

The sources reminded that elections of party office-bearers had been concluded in great haste that caused numerous irregularities in the process. The lacunas and shortcomings would be fully exploited by the detractors of the party. They will approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the first stance and subsequently would knock the doors of higher judiciary, if not granted relief by the commission. They would ask to annul the elections of Friday last.

The sources recalled the National Council of the party had to elect new chairman in accordance with the constitution of the party.

No formal meeting of the National Council was convened. No panel was constituted before the polls and even ballot papers weren’t printed. No proclamation or announcement was made on the filing of nomination papers before the election nor an opportunity was accorded for raising objection about the candidate’s nomination papers, contesting for the high offices.

All the office-bearers were declared elected uncontested in a short period of time. The nomination papers were to be filed till 3pm on Friday but its founder member Akbar S Babar, when he visited the party secretariat in earlier part of the day to collect nomination papers and voters list, was informed that the time for submission of nomination papers was over. The whole episode is available in shape of video recording.

Sources in the PTI election commission claimed that the commission had fulfilled all legal and technical requirements, which would be defended on each and every legal forum.

Interestingly, Umar Ayub Khan, Hamad Azhar and Ali Amin Gandapur took part in the elections from hiding at unknown place while Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Dr Yasmeen Rashid contested the election from jail and they too were elected uncontested.

Experts are of the view that legal flaws left unaddressed by the organisers due to haste would help founder of the PTI, Akbar S. Babar, in challenging the election. Babar has already declared elections a bogus activity and has termed the exercise as selection. He has prepared documents to challenge the whole action today, the sources added.