Barrister Gohar Khan was declared the PTI chairman again following fresh intra-party polls, according to results shared by the party’s spokesperson and Chief Election Commissioner Raoof Hasan on Sunday.

Gohar won the chairman’s election unopposed, Hasan revealed during a press conference in Islamabad.

This is the third time PTI has conducted intraparty elections in the past two years, following its Dec 2 elections which resulted in its electoral ‘bat’ symbol ultimately being revoked by the Supreme Court following back and forth verdicts by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Peshawar High Court (PHC). Gohar was elected the PTI chairman for the first time in Dec 2 election.

Prior to that, the PTI held elections in June 2022, which the ECP had annulled on Nov 23, terming them “highly objectionable”.

Following the decision to schedule the new intra-party polls on March 3, incarcerated PTI leader Imran Khan had nominated Barrister Ali Zafar for the position of chairman.

Days later, party sources told Dawn that Zafar refused to accept the chairmanship, following which Imran nominated Barrister Gohar again for the party’s top post.

At today’s press conference, Hasan announced that Gohar won the chairman’s position unopposed since there were no other candidates.

He noted that initially there were four applications for the position from Ashraf Jabbar, Omar Ayub, Naveed Anjum Khan and Barrister Gohar. Three applications were accepted, while that of Naveed was rejected.

Naveed’s application was rejected because he contested the Feb 8 general elections against a PTI-supported candidate, after which his party membership was cancelled on Feb 11, Raoof said.

He noted that a second reason for the rejection was that despite Naveed applying for party membership again on Feb 24, a pre-condition to contesting intraparty elections is to have been an uninterrupted member for at least 6 months.

Following that, Jabbar and Ayub “graciously withdrew their applications for the sake of party unity and harmony”.

“Because of this, there were no candidates against Gohar, so we declared him the uncontested winner. He has been elected party chairman unopposed,” Hasan said.

Meanwhile, Omar Ayub was elected PTI’s secretary general, also unopposed, since there were no other nominations for the position, Hasan said.

Gohar and Ayub on Friday had been notified of their positions since they were the only candidates for the position.

Hasan said that cumulative results for elections held for the the party’s provincial presidents will be announced shortly.

He stressed that the new intra-party elections were held in accordance with guidelines set out by the ECP, noting that the party’s previous two elections “ran into some trouble” with the electoral watchdog.

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