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Thursday June 20, 2024

PTI didn’t hold intra-party polls in 5 years: ECP

The electoral body has sent a questionnaire to PTI in the light of its intra-party election documents

By Mumtaz Alvi
May 14, 2024
Members of the PTI hoist their party flags at a public gathering in this undated picture. — AFP/File
Members of the PTI hoist their party flags at a public gathering in this undated picture. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has formally sent its objections to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and sought a reply in relations to its latest saga of intra-party polls held in early March this year.

The electoral body has sent a questionnaire to PTI 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.

A senior official at the ECP said that the questionnaire pointed out that the PTI did not conduct intra-party elections in five years, so its administrative structure was abolished, what is the status of PTI as a political party at this time?

The ECP asked whether the PTI general body meeting was held on the electoral college of all the members of the federation, provinces and local level as well? Was the chief organizer appointed in this general body meeting and this very chief organizer notified Raoof Hassan as the party’s federal election commissioner?

“Is it permissible for the general body to appoint the chief organizer and can it appoint a CEC,” the commission has also asked. The ECP also asked PTI, “What is your stand on the five applications received regarding PTI intra-party elections? The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the 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?

According to the Elections Act, 2017, the registered political party will be registered and the party should submit a certificate within 7 days of the election, the date of the election with the certificate, the details of the elected officials, the certificate should be accompanied by a copy of the declaration of the election results.

According to the Act, the registered political party has to submit the required documents within 60 days, if the documents are not submitted, the ECP can cancel the party registration by giving an opportunity of hearing.

Section 208 of the Act says: Elections within a political party.—(1) The office-bearers of a political party at the federal, provincial and local levels, wherever applicable, shall be elected periodically in accordance with the constitution of the political party: Provided that a period, not exceeding five years, shall intervene between any two elections.

(2) A member of a political party shall, subject to the provisions of the constitution of the political party, be provided with an equal opportunity of contesting election for any political party office.

(3) All members of the political party at the federal, provincial and local levels shall constitute the electoral-college for election of the party general council at the respective levels.

(4) The political party shall publish the updated list of its 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 ECP.

(5) Where a political party fails to conduct intra-party elections as per given time frame in their constitution, a show cause notice shall be issued to such political party and if the party fails to comply with, then the ECP shall impose fine which may extend to two hundred thousand rupees but shall not be less than one hundred thousand rupees.