Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Saturday chose a new party chairman, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, who was nominated by Imran Khan to contest for the top slot.
PTI’s Chief Election Commissioner Niazullah Niazi announced the results, saying Barrister Gohar was elected unopposed following the intra-party election held today.
Niazi said Umar Ayub Khan has been elected PTI’s central general secretary while Ali Amin Gandapur and Dr Yasmin Rashid were chosen as the party’s provincial presidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, respectively.
The development came in line with the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) directives following which the party conducted its intra-party polls today.
The central polling centre was set up in Peshawar's Rano Garhi near the Motorway Toll Plaza where its Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Presiding Officer Ali Zaman has arrived.
Zaman said the number of registered voters for the polls was more than 20 million.
"The vote can be cast through an online app and ballot paper at the election centre in Peshawar," Zaman said.
Zaman had said all candidates will be elected unopposed.
“If there are no objections, all the candidates will be elected uncontested,” he added.
The monitoring of polls and announcement of their results was to be done from the centre, while Niazi was to announce the results, he added.
These elections hold immense importance in the country's current political climate as the party's Chairman Imran Khan has, for the first time since PTI's inception, decided to hand over the chairmanship to one of his legal advisors, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, who will be holding the party reigns until the Khan's release from jail.
Earlier this week, PTI member and senior lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar announced Gohar's name as the party's chair, adding that his position is temporary, as Khan would return as chairman once his disqualification in the wake of the Toshakhana case is overturned.
PTI leader Ali Amin Gandapur is the candidate for party KP chairmanship, while former provincial minister Atif Khan is running for Peshawar region president.
Ali Asghar is running as the candidate for provincial general secretary.
A PTI spokesperson said that the conduct of the intra-party polls was a clear sign of the party’s unshakable commitment to democracy and unwavering belief in the rule of law.
In a related development, PTI founding member and ex-central leader Akbar Sher Babar made a surprise visit to the PTI’s central secretariat after 13 years along with some other old party members.
Talking to the media persons, Babar said he had asked for three things from the Central Secretariat staff present on the occasion, copies of nomination papers, voter lists and methodology of the electoral process but in response got nothing.
“One of the secretariat representatives said we have nothing here to share with you. We think that old people will be back once again,” Babar quoted one PTI Central Secretariat staff member as saying.
The PTI’s Core Committee, earlier this week, gave formal approval to hold the intra-party polls within the time frame of 20 days given by the ECP. If the party does not follow the orders, it will lose its bat symbol.