PTI to hold intra-party polls on March 3

The decisions on the appeals and the final list of panels/candidates will be issued by Feb 29

By Our Correspondent
February 23, 2024
PTI supporters and workers hold flags in a rally. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Thursday announced fresh intra-party elections on March 3. Senior party leader Senator Ali Zafar will contest for the coveted office.


PTI’s Federal Chief Election Commissioner has released the polls schedule. The party members will be able to file their nomination papers with the returning officers (RO) between 10am and 3pm on Feb 23 (today) and 24.

According to the schedule, the scrutiny of nomination forms will be completed by 3pm on Feb 25, while Feb 26 will be the deadline for filing appeals against the RO’s decision.

The decisions on the appeals and the final list of panels/candidates will be issued by Feb 29.

Meanwhile, the last day for withdrawing candidates/panels and the issuance of a revised list of panels will be Feb 28. The schedule said the intra-party elections would be held from 10am to 3pm on March 3, adding that polling would be held in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta.

The election results would be declared by 8pm the same day while a notification of the same would be issued on March 4.

In a related development to the planned PTI intra-party elections, PTI founding member Akbar S Babar while talking to reporters on Thursday said he had decided to challenge the latest attempt by the defunct PTI leadership to hold another intra-party elections on March 3, as it had no legal basis to conduct such an exercise.

Earlier, in a statement, he said the ECP had declared the intra party elections of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) held on December 2, 2023 as null and void. Consequently, Form-65 and the certificate dated 4th December, 2023 submitted on behalf of PTI was also rejected.

“By rejecting the Form-65 filed by PTI, all central and provincial office-bearers listed in the said form have no legal authority to represent the PTI or conduct any business on account of PTI or utilize its assets including offices and bank accounts,” he contended.

The latest attempt by the defunct PTI leadership to conduct yet another illegal intra-party elections on March 3, 2024, he claimed, would further complicate its legal status as a political party.

Meanwhile, as many as 89 MNAs, 85 members of the KP Assembly, 106 members of the Punjab Assembly and nine members of the Sindh Assembly submitted their affidavits to join the Sunni Ittehad Council.

However, three party leaders did not submit affidavits, including Omar Ayub Khan, Barrister Gohar Khan and Ali Amin Gandapur with the notification of one candidate, Dawar Kundi, was yet to be issued by the ECP.

Sources said as the PTI makes frantic moves, including the joining of Sunni Ittehad Council, differences have suddenly increased between the leadership and the party’s lawyers. Insiders say while the intra-party elections are being held after the general elections, senior party leaders are in the process of joining the SIC, both in the national and provincial assemblies.

Consequent upon that, the participation in the intra-party elections has become doubtful due to the political leadership. It is alleged that the party’s decisions were being implemented without consulting the political leadership, reinforcing the impression that the lawyers’ leadership had once again ‘hijacked’ the PTI.

On its part, the PTI senior leadership was keen to participate in the intra-party elections, but now due to the SIC factor, several political leaders, who became part of SIC, cannot participate in the intra-party elections legally.

“By holding the intra-party elections on March 3 instead of February 5, as planned earlier, the PTI leaders who wanted to participate in the intra-party elections will be a part of the Council, while the lawyers’ leadership will not face any competition from any senior leader for the party posts,” a source said. It is for this reason that leaders like Omar Ayub and Barrister Gohar did not join the Sunni Ittehad Council due to which they are said to be the candidates for the important party posts.

According to the sources, this time a panel supporting Imran Khan will be brought in the intra-party elections against which there will be no candidate or panel.

Owing to the decision of the same panel of the party, all those members, including Akbar S. Babar, who were part of the case related to the challenge of the intra-party and the party symbol, can come forward once again. The PTI’s political leadership believes that the journey of parliamentary politics for the next five years can be difficult and long if the founding chairman does not take decisions in consultation.