ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday warned the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that it could be declared ineligible to obtain its election symbol failing to hold intra-party elections. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf [PTI] contested elections on ‘bat’ symbol in the last general elections.
The PTI’s intra-party elections were due on June 13 in 2021 under the party’s constitution but it could be held. The commission also issued a notice to the PTI chief to appear before the commission at the ECP regarding the PTI not holding its intra-party elections. According to the notice, the ECP summoned PTI Chairman Imran Khan to appear before it on August 4 (Friday) at 10am “failing which the Commission under Section 215 (5) of the Elections Act, 2017, may declare your political party ineligible to obtain election symbol for future elections”.
The commission clarified the PTI was intimated and reminded to conduct intra-party elections within the timeframe provided under Sections 208, 209 and 215 of the ‘Elections Act,2017 but the party failed to “provide the requisite certificate to this effect”. The ECP referred to Section 209(1) of the Election Act saying every registered political party is bound to provide the ECP with a certificate regarding the conduct of the intra-party elections as provided by law. “If any political party fails to comply with the provisions of the said Section 209, this Commission is empowered to declare the said political party ineligible to obtain an election symbol,” the notice added. It may be noted here the top election body had already instructed registered political parties to submit their applications for the allotment of elections symbols ahead of general polls in the country. It was also directed to attach a list of symbols they prioritise along with their applications. “Every application must include the address of the head office of the political party,” Election Commission said.