The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday reserved its verdict on a petition challenging the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) intra-party elections ─ held in June ─ on the grounds that the polling process violated the party's constitution.
On June 22 ─ 10 days after the PTI held the poll ─ Yusuf Ali, the former general secretary of the PTI’s Swabi chapter, had filed the petition before the ECP and asked the commission to declare the election null and void.
The ECP reserved its verdict after hearing arguments from the counsel representing the petitioner and Advocate Babar Awan, the counsel representing the party before the commission.
During today's proceedings, the petitioner's lawyer told the ECP that the PTI had held "dummy" intra-party polls in violation of the party constitution.
He recalled that the elections were held on June 12 and that on May 13 the party had amended its constitution.
The petitioner said that the PTI had not completed the necessary legal formalities when amending the constitution.
He added that the party's constitution can only be changed if there is a two-thirds majority from the Central Executive Council.
The lawyer was referring to an amendment which gave registered voters just two choices: panel 1 or 2.
The PTI Election Commission had re-drafted the party’s constitution and developed a software for the intra-party poll whereby anything written instead of 1 or 2 would disqualify the vote.
As per the amended constitution, 2.7 million voters had to decide between PTI Chairman Imran Khan or party leader Naik Muhammad Khan. No party member was allowed to choose anybody besides the two panels, the Insaf panel and the Ehtesaab panel, each with 14 members.
During the hearing, Advocate Awan argued that the petition could not be heard by the ECP as intra-party elections cannot be challenged via an election petition.
"The petitioner has nothing to do with the PTI's intra-party elections," Awan added. "The elections were held in a transparent manner."
PTI laeder Naeemul Haque was present at the ECP during the hearing of the case.
The commission said it would announce its verdict on November 28.