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Wednesday June 19, 2024

PTI intra-party polls: ECP issues notices to Gohar, Raoof for 30th

ECP had formally sent its objections to the PTI and sought a reply

By Our Correspondent
May 25, 2024
The facade of the renovated ECP office in Islamabad. — Radio Pakistan/File
The facade of the renovated ECP office in Islamabad. — Radio Pakistan/File

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued notices to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan and Raoof Hasan, who was the federal election commissioner for the PTI intra-party election, for May 30.

A senior official at the ECP said the notices were issued after having received replies to the questions raised about the intra-party elections, which were conducted on March 3.

The ECP 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. It had sent a questionnaire to the 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.

The questionnaire asked what was the status of PTI as a political party currently?

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 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, a 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. 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.