PTI all set for crucial intra-party polls today

ISLAMABAD  -  The beleaguered Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is all set to hold its crucial intra-party elections today amid visible rifts within the party and persistent confusion over the fate of such polls.

The party on Friday announced that it has given finishing touches to its preparations to hold the intra-party polls on the direction of the Election Commission of Pakistan ECP). At the same time, it kept silence over the venue of the election and details of the contestants except for the position of chairman. The party also did not give any details about who have filed nominations for the contest except Barrister Gohar Khan who is contesting for the slot of PTI chairman.

On Wednesday last, the PTI had formally announced that Chairman Imran Khan would not be contesting the intra-party polls scheduled for December 2 (Saturday) due to his legal problems, and Barrister Gohar Khan has been nominated for the slot of party chairmanship as a “stopgap arrangement”. Last week, the ECP had ordered the PTI to hold intra-party elections within 20 days to retain the bat as its poll symbol.

According to the statement issued by the party’s Central Secretariat, Barrister Gohar Khan – the nominee of founding Chairman PTI Imran Khan for the slot of chairman – submitted his nomination papers on Friday. According to the details, the nomination papers were received by Returning Officer Sardar Masroof Khan. PTI senior central leader Ahmed Owais was the proposer in the nomination papers while party’s Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan was his seconder. PTI Chief Election Commissioner Advocate Niazullah Niazi was also present on the occasion. A PTI spokesperson in a separate statement said that the party had also held intra-party elections last year according to its constitution. He added the party decided to hold the intra-party election again to implement the “illegal decision of the electoral watchdog declaring the PTI’s intra-party polls null and void.” He emphasized that PTI Chairman Imran buried the traditional, hereditary and family-limited politics and set a great example of democracy by nominating a hard-working, loyal and capable worker of the party for the slot of the party chairman.

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