The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has instructed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to conduct new internal party elections should it intend to participate using the “bat” symbol in the upcoming February 8 elections.
The commission’s announcement today stipulated that PTI must organize fresh elections within 20 days and furnish the results within a week of the polls. The ECP’s reserved verdict highlighted PTI’s failure to conduct transparent and impartial intra-party elections, deeming the previous polls contentious and objectionable.
The verdict explicitly stated the rejection of PTI’s intra-party elections and mandated the party to arrange new polls, demanding submission of records within seven days.
The ECP warned of severe consequences if PTI fails to comply within the specified 20-day period, indicating that without holding the elections, PTI would not qualify to obtain an election symbol.
Notices were initially issued to PTI on August 2 for its failure to hold intra-party polls, and the verdict on this matter was reserved on September 13 by the ECP.
The recent ruling poses concerns for PTI as a significant portion of its leadership, including Chairman Imran Khan, his deputy Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and party president Pervaiz Elahi, are either incarcerated or have departed from the party subsequent to a crackdown initiated against them post the May 9 riots.