Saturday July 13, 2024

Founding member Akbar Babar objects to PTI intra-party polls

By Mumtaz Alvi
December 01, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Founding Member Akbar S. Babar Thursday rejected nomination of a new party chairman by Imran Khan and termed it ‘selection’ instead of ‘election’, and proposed to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to appoint observers for the electoral process.

He said “this must be a first that elections for the party’s central leadership have been announced without its electoral college in place as the electoral college of PTI’s central leadership is an elected provincial leadership which does not exist”.

In a statement, issued here, he said the nomination of a new PTI chairman has raised serious questions about the transparency and credibility of the entire PTI intra-party election process. 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Founding Member Akbar S. Babar. — Facebook/Akbar S Babar PTI (official)
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Founding Member Akbar S. Babar. — Facebook/Akbar S Babar PTI (official)

He added, “for a party that champions transparency and level playing field in the national elections, is shying away from allowing its workers a level playing field to elect its leadership without interference and manipulation. “The irony is that to-date neither election schedule has been announced nor do members of the party know how and where to file nomination papers. Even the voter list has not been made public consisting of members of the party eligible to vote,” he pointed out.

The entire intra-party election process, he alleged, appears to be a farcical exercise to wriggle out of a self-created crisis that has put the PTI election symbol ‘Bat’ and participation in national elections in serious legal jeopardy.

Babar, who served as the party’s central information secretary and vice-president in the past, claimed that it appears that the PTI has learnt hardly any lesson from its past history of holding rigged intra-party elections.

He said the intra-party election process had dragged since the Covid days when the ECP granted full one year on the PTI request to hold transparent intra-party elections under its constitution. “This never happened as the PTI leadership was busy in destructive power politics and precious time was wasted,” he alleged.

Babar proposed that the ECP should appoint ‘observers’ to monitor the PTI intra-party elections, as it was already seized of the matter.

He emphasised that Pakistan’s leadership crisis could only be resolved if political parties act as nurseries of competent individuals who were capable of leading the country.

“This cannot happen as political parties are individual or family fiefdoms meant to propel them into power. The Election Commission of Pakistan should play a proactive role to democratise all major political parties without which national elections would only be an attempt to ‘recycle political waste’ that would further aggravate the national crisis,” he feared.