PTI could be declared ineligible for election symbol, warns ECP

PTI supporters attend a rally in Charsadda. — AFP/File
PTI supporters attend a rally in Charsadda. — AFP/File
  • Intra-party elections were due in June 2021 under party’s constitution: ECP.
  • Says PTI intimated/reminded to conduct intra-party polls within timeframe.
  • PTI amended constitution termed insufficient by electoral body.

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has warned the former ruling party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), that it could be declared ineligible to obtain election symbol over its failure to hold intra-party elections.

In a notice issued on Wednesday, the top electoral body 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 election(s)”.

Referring to its earlier notices, the ECP said the PTI’s intra-party elections were due on June 13 in 2021 under the party’s constitution.

It said the PTI was intimated/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 polls organising authority also said it issued final notice to the PTI in May last year for ensuring the conduct of intra-party elections “on or before 13.06.2022 (extended date), with the observation that no further extension shall be allowed”.

Subsequently, the notice PTI submitted a copy of the amended party’s constitution which was deemed “insufficient” by the electoral body.

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.

Last month, the ECP instructed political parties to submit their applications for the allotment of elections symbols ahead of general polls in the country scheduled for later this year.

The ECP had directed the parties to attach a list of symbols they prioritise along with their applications, adding that the signature of the party leader is a must.

“Every application must include the address of the head office of the political party,” the election commission said.

It also added that the body would check the eligibility of the parties after receiving the applications.

In 2018, the PTI was allotted a ‘bat’ symbol to contest the general elections.


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