ECP to hear PTI’s response to intra-party polls today

Few days back, commission had issued notices to party Chairman Gohar Ali Khan and federal election commissioner Raoof Hasan

By Our Correspondent
May 30, 2024
The front facade of the renovated ECP office in Islamabad. — ECP website/File

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will today (Thursday) hear the PTI intra-party elections (IPEs) and the party’s response to its questionnaire.


A few days back, the commission had issued notices to the party Chairman Gohar Ali Khan and the federal election commissioner Raoof Hasan.

The commission had already shared a detailed questionnaire with the PTI, seeking information about its intra-party elections and questioning the party’s status after ‘losing organisational structure for not holding the party polls for five years, and election symbol’.

The electoral body had raised seven main objections, based on the documents the party had submitted, and informed the PTI that as the party had not conducted intra-party elections, its administrative structure had ended.

The ECP had raised questions on registration of the PTI. It was said in the objections that the PTI did not conduct intra-party elections in five years under Section 208(1) of the Elections Act, 2017 and that as a result the administrative structure of the party had not been there for five years.

The ECP had formally sent its objections to the PTI and sought a reply in the light of its intra-party election documents, asking about its status, after having failed to conduct the electoral exercise for five years and hence having no administrative structure.

The questionnaire asked what the status of PTI as a political party currently was. The ECP asked whether the PTI general body meeting was held on the electoral college of all members of the federation, provinces and local level as well. Was the chief organiser appointed to the general body meeting and if the very chief organiser had notified Raoof Hassan as the party’s federal election commissioner? “Is it permissible for the general body to appoint the chief organiser and can it appoint a CEC?” the commission also asked. The ECP said, “What is your stand on the five applications, received regarding PTI intra-party elections? The Supreme Court upheld the decision of ECP and in the light of the decision of the ECP, the PTI does not have the election symbol.” The Elections Act imposes a fine for not conducting the party elections; in this case why not impose a fine on the PTI? Can the process of terminating the registration of the PTI be initiated? On its part, the PTI has responded to the objections raised by the Election Commission and insisted that it continued to be on the list of the electoral body as a political party. The party’s federal chief election commissioner Raoof Hasan in his response said the PTI was an existing, active and functioning political party enlisted with the ECP under Section 202 of the Elections Act, 2017. “There is no provision in the Elections Act, 2017, or in the Election Rules, 2017, that an enlisted party would lose its organisational structure after the expiry of five years if no internal party elections (IPE) are held within five years,” the response meant to address the ECP’s reservations said. He explained that the PTI held its IPE on June 9, 2022, but the ECP directed on Nov 23, 2023 that IPE had to be held under PTI’s ‘prevalent constitution’ (2019 Constitution). The PTl then held its IPE on Dec 2, 2023, but the ECP held the PTI Secretary General could not have appointed PTI’s Federal Election Commission to hold lPE. Therefore, the PTI held its IPE for the third time on March 3, 2024. And for holding these elections, a meeting of the PTI’s general body, comprising all members of PTI in Pakistan, was convened on Jan 31. The requisite approval was obtained from the general body whereby the federal election commissioner (FEC) was also appointed to hold IPE as early as possible. Then the ECP was informed by PTI on Feb 21 of all the steps taken for holding the IPE in light of the approvals of general body. It said the ECP affirmed on March 2 those steps and directed the party to proceed and hold IPE in accordance with PTI’s constitution. The IPE was accordingly held on March 3 and documents filed with the ECP. Hence, PTI is an enlisted political party till date and as such it continues to exercise its rights under the relevant provisions of law, including Article 17 of the Constitution, the Elections Act, 2017, and Election Rules, 2017.