ISLAMABAD: Founding leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Akbar S Babar, has taken a step to challenge the recently conducted intra-party elections of the party at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). He urged the top electoral authority in the country to instruct the Imran Khan-led PTI to organize fresh polls.
After the elections occurred in Peshawar to select the party’s new officeholders, which included a successor for former chairman Imran Khan, Barrister Gohar Khan emerged as the favored choice among party members. Barrister Gohar Khan, who was nominated by the ex-PTI chief himself for the significant position, received the majority of votes.
Disputing the legitimacy of the polls held on December 2, Babar contested the election results and lodged a complaint about irregularities with the electoral authority.
The veteran politician, emphasizing his and other founding leaders’ continued association with the party following a high court ruling, joined forces with other members and former officeholders to file a petition against what they termed as “rigged/fraudulent PTI intra-party elections” at the ECP headquarters in Islamabad today.
Babar, in his plea to the ECP as a validated member of PTI, implored the commission to nullify the purported December 2, 2023, PTI Intra Party Election, and demanded fresh polls be conducted promptly.
The petition stressed the history of PTI’s opaque intra-party polling, referencing the ECP’s order from November 3, 2023, and urged the commission to appoint impartial third-party monitors for overseeing any future PTI intra-party elections.
Additionally, Babar suggested that the party’s “bat” symbol should be suspended until transparent intra-party polls, compliant with the law, are conducted.
Highlighting the significance of the Election Act 2017 and associated rules in ensuring democratic leadership selection within political parties, the petition underlined the need to halt the facade of manipulated intra-party elections.
It advocated for a stringent evaluation of major political parties under relevant laws to facilitate the emergence of credible and competent leadership from within these parties.