PTI urges ECP to re-allot ‘bat’ as its election symbol

Disgruntled Akbar S Babar challenges PTI intra-party polls in elections watchdog

ISLAMABAD  -  Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday called upon the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to fulfil its constitutional responsibilities and instantly allot the electoral symbol ‘bat’ to the party after holding intra-party elections, while on the other hand, the party’s founding member Akbar S. Babar moved the election watchdog against the party’s intra-party elections terming it ‘rigged and fraudulent’.

The PTI came down hard on Akbar S. Babar for speaking on the matter pending before the ECP by calling him “tout and fraudster.”

The statement from the PTI comes hours after Babar moved the Election Commission against the party’s intra-party polls, alleging they were “rigged and fraudulent”.

The intra-party polls were held last Saturday after the election watchdog warned the PTI either to conduct the elections within 20 days or lose its electoral symbol ‘bat’.

Babar approached the ECP seeking its intervention in the matter as a member of PTI whose membership was validated by the electoral body.

“I pray that the Elec­tion Commission of Pakistan, declare the PTI Intra Party Election purportedly held on December 2, 2023, as ‘Null and Void’ and without any legal effect and the ‘Par­ty’ be directed to hold fresh intra-party elec­tions as soon as possible,” the petition read. Speak­ing to journalists outside the ECP, the PTI founding member said other mem­bers of the PTI had also filed separate applications against the intra-party polls. “We want to save the [electoral] symbol of bat,” he said adding that he had filed an application for the allocation of the bat sym­bol. He said former office bearers of the PTI — You­suf Ali and Noreen Farooq — have also filed applica­tions along with him. The PTI founding member said that he has also submitted a court decision along with the application that re­stored his party member­ship. “I am the only party member who secured fa­vourable verdicts from dif­ferent judicial forums.” He also called upon the ECP to declare the intra-par­ty polls as null and void in order to hold transpar­ent party elections. React­ing to the press conference of the Babar pertaining to the intra-party elections, a PTI spokesperson under­lined that Pakistan need­ed political stability and free, fair and transparent polls that were the sole panacea to the current cri­ses. He demanded that all political parties should be given equal opportunities in the electoral process because it was indispens­able for the image of the country and credibility of the elections. The spokes­person reminded that the PTI was the largest politi­cal party and most formi­dable political force of the country, adding that with­out PTI or its leadership, neither there was any con­cept of fair and transpar­ent elections nor the peo­ple would accept such polls. He emphasized that the nation was well-aware of the state’s efforts to ex­clude PTI from the po­litical process. The PTI spokesperson recalled that maintaining neutral­ity and impartiality of the electoral watchdog was a prerequisite for ensur­ing democracy as well as credibility and transpar­ency of the elections. He demanded that the ECP should discourage the misleading statements of “anarchists and hired guns along with unknown peti­tioners who were sowing the seed of chaos.” He, re­ferring to Babar, said that the application of a “slan­derous tout,” who had been expelled from the PTI through a legal process since September 2011 and deprived of its core party membership, was a con­spiracy to entangle the electoral body. The PTI spokesperson urged it was the responsibility of ECP to stop the liars from speak­ing on the matter pending before the commission. He made it clear that despite the serious reservations, PTI conducted intra-party elections as per the law in the light of ECP’s decision and submitted complete documents to the commis­sion in this regard.

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