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.