Intra-party polls: ECP serves notices on political parties

May 22, 2022

The ECP issued a statement along with the details of other parties which also have been issued notices for not conducting the intra-party elections

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The ECP building in Islamabad. Photo: The News/File

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday issued a show-cause notice to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif over his failure to conduct intra-party elections of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), which he himself heads.

The commission issued a statement along with the details of other parties which also have been issued notices for not conducting the intra-party elections. The electoral body pointed out that the last date for the PMLN to conduct intra-party elections was March 13, 2022, which had been extended on the PMLN’s request to May 14, and the party under the law was supposed to submit the certificate of elections to the ECP by May 21. The commission warned the PMLN president that the party could be disqualified to obtain election symbol for not conducting intra-party elections as per the law.

Likewise, the ECP noted that the last date for conduct of intra-party polls for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was June 13, 2021, however, in the wake of a request from the party, it had been given time till June 13, 2022.

It is pertinent to mention here that Section 208 of the Elections Act 2017 requires all political parties to elect office-bearers at federal, provincial and local levels, wherever applicable, periodically in accordance with the constitution of the respective political party: provided that a period, not exceeding five years, shall intervene between any two elections; reads a proviso to Section 208(1) of the act.

Political parties under the law are also required to publish the updated list of their central office-bearers and executive committee members, by whatever name called, on its website and send the list and any subsequent change in it to the commission. The Section 209 of the act requires the political parties to submit to the ECP within seven days from completion of intra-party elections a certificate signed by an office-bearer authorized by the party head, to the effect that the elections were held in accordance with the constitution of the political party.

Under Section 215 of the act, a political party which fails to submit a certificate on intra-party elections is ineligible to obtain an election symbol for contesting elections for parliament, provincial assemblies or local governments.

The commission released a list of these parties including Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (Chaudhry Anwar), PTI Gulalai, Pakistan Qomi Yakjehti Party, Mohibb-e-Watan Nojawan Inqilab Ki Anjuman, Muttahida Ulema Mashaikh Council of Pakistan, Pakistan Aman Party, Sunni Ittehad, Aam Adami Tehreek Pakistan, Aal Pakistan Tehreek and Pakistan Human Rights Party. Notices to these parties have been issued for violation of Section 209 and Section 10 of the Elections Act 2017 and under Section 215 (4), saying that why not these parties be disqualified from obtaining election symbols.

Moreover, six other parties have been issued final notices for conducting intra-party polls within the fixed period: Aam Log Ittehad (23.08.2022), Pakistan Awami Raj (26.06.2022), Pakistan National Muslim League (06.02.2022), Peoples Movement of Pakistan (04.08.2022), Tehreek-e-Darveshan Pakistan (15.07.2022) and Pakistani Sunni Tehreek (22.05.2022).

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