Thursday April 18, 2024

PTI to kick off election campaign for Punjab polls tomorrow

PTI has finalised a list of 297 candidates for the elections after PTI Chairman Imran Khan interviewed all party candidates

By Web Desk
April 23, 2023
PTI supporters at a public gathering. — AFP/File
PTI supporters at a public gathering. — AFP/File

Amid confusion surrounding on the polls, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announced on Sunday that the Imran Khan-led party will kick off its election campaign for Punjab elections tomorrow (Monday).

“Tehreek-e-Insaf will officially launch its election campaign from tomorrow. They (PDM) may not be ready but we are ready,” tweeted PTI Secretary General Asad Umar.

The PTI finalised a list of 297 candidates earlier this week for the elections after PTI Chairman Imran Khan interviewed all party candidates in person to uphold merit in awarding party tickets.

The former premier — who was ousted in April last year via a no-confidence motion — held one-on-one interviews with all candidates from April 6 to April 18 to select nominees.

But the allotment of tickets has not gone well within the party as many high-profile leaders were snubbed.

Subsequently, Geo News reported, citing sources, that Khan was planning to include the party's Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Umar in the review committee to address objections.

The PTI formed a four-member committee on Thursday to remove objections to the distribution of tickets which has always been an issue in the party.

The panel included Musaddiq Abbasi, Ijaz Chaudhary, Rai Hassan Nawaz, and Aoon Abbas; however, after severe backlash from party workers and supporters Khan is likely to include some senior members to decide on the appeals regarding the distribution of tickets.

Interestingly, PTI’s announcement of launching the election campaign comes despite uncertainty surrounding the elections.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is waiting for funds from the federal government to conduct the elections.

The Supreme Court, earlier this month, had ordered the ECP to hold elections in Punjab on May 14. In the April 4 order, the apex court had also directed the federal government to release Rs21 billion in funds for the ECP by April 10 and provide security for the elections.

However, the government has refused to release funds for the polls as the Parliament rejected the proposal. While the defence ministry has also refused to provide security for the polls due to the security situation.

The ministry had also filed a petition in the Supreme Court calling it to take back its order of holding polls on May 14. The case is being heard in the Supreme Court and during the proceedings Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial remarked that the three-member bench will not take back its order for holding polls on May 14.