Pakistan: Imran Khan’s party PTI to move high court against ECP verdict on internal polls

Pakistan: Imran Khan’s party PTI to move high court against ECP verdict on internal polls

Pakistan: Imran Khan’s party PTI to move high court against ECP verdict on internal polls

On Monday, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party said that it would file a lawsuit in the Peshawar High Court against the electoral commission’s ruling to deem its intra-party votes unconstitutional and to remove the party’s famous “cricket bat” symbol.

Khan’s party’s organisational elections and its request to have a cricket bat serve as the electoral symbol for the general elections were denied by a five-member panel of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday.

Mohammad Muazzam Butt, the central information secretary and lawyer for the PTI, announced on Monday that the party had chosen to file a writ suit on December 26 with the Peshawar High Court, as reported by Dawn.

He declared that the ECP’s ruling was “legally flawed” and that the party leadership would bring the lawsuit.

In his order, the commission had not served justice, he continued.

The PTI’s internal elections, in which Barrister Gohar Ali Khan was chosen as the new chairman of the party, were deemed invalid by the electoral watchdog for the second time in less than a month.

Days after Khan, 71, was appointed, Gohar Khan, a close ally, lost his job as PTI chairman as a result of this decision.

Imran Khan, a legendary former cricket player for Pakistan, is closely associated with the cricket bat. He is being held in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on several charges.

The party was ruled by the ECP unable to receive an electoral symbol to run in the general elections scheduled for February 8 of the following year.

“It is held that PTI has not complied with our directions rendered therein order dated November 23 and failed to hold intra-party election following PTI prevailing Constitution, 2019 and Election Act, 2017, and Election Rules, 2017,” the poll body had said in its 11-page order.

The PTI described the move as a “disgusting and shameful attempt to stop the party from [participating in the] election” and as a component of the “famous London Plan.”

Additionally, it had insisted that it would challenge the ruling in every forum and that the party would still win the general elections.

It declared that, come what may, its candidates would run for office wearing the “bat” insignia.

On Monday, Butt asserted that the PTI’s internal elections were the target of petitions filed before the ECP with “malicious intent” and “on orders of some people.”

Experts have lambasted the former ruling party and the election watchdog for what they consider to be inconsistent actions.

The PTI founder, Khan, made the decision to abstain from party elections since doing so would have exposed him to a legal challenge from his opponents following his disqualification by the ECP in the Toshakhana corruption case.

(With agency inputs)