ISLAMABAD: The PTI has officially announced the results of its intra-party polls, declaring that Barrister Gohar Ali Khan and Omar Ayub Khan have been elected unopposed as the chairman and secretary general of the party, respectively, in elections held as per Supreme Court guidelines.

In Balochistan, however, where elections were held for the provincial chapter chief on Sunday, the panel of Dawood Shah, who had the backing of PTI founder Imran Khan, prevailed over Amin Khan Jogezai and Dr Munir Ahmed Baloch.

According to the party’s provincial election commissioner, Dawood Usmankheil, three panels contested the intra-party election for PTI’s Balochistan president.

Mr Shah, a local leader from Quetta, was elected the PTI Balochistan president after securing 445 votes, while Dr Baloch, the former provincial president, remained second with 435 votes. Mr Jogezai received only 57 votes.

According to Mr Usmankheil, registered party voters cast their votes in the elections.

There were 940 registered votes, and the turnout was 100 per cent. Three votes were rejected.

PTI workers see Dr Baloch’s defeat as an upset, as he was the local favourite.

The other three provincial chapters heads have already been elected unopposed.

Dr Yasmin Rashid, Ali Amin Gandapur and Haleem Adil Sheikh will be the presidents for the party’s Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh chapters, respectively.

All winners were nominated and backed by the incarcerated PTI founder, and their victory was guaranteed anyway. However, to meet ECP’s requirement and avoid any unopposed election, rival panels also submitted nomination papers.

However, the contesting candidates later withdrew their nomination papers, paving the way for the unopposed wins of all of Mr Khan’s nominees.

Polls ‘in line with SC guidelines’

In Islamabad, PTI’s Federal Election Commissioner Raoof Hasan formally announced the results during a press conference on Sunday.

Mr Hasan claimed that intra-party elections were held for the third time as per the Supreme Court’s guidelines.

Ashraf Jabbar and Dr Muhammad Aslam, who voluntarily withdrew their nomination papers as chairman candidates and returning officers for the election of chairman and secretary general, Ayesha Khalid and Amina Ali, respectively, were also present on the occasion.

Mr Hasan said four candidates had filed nomination papers for the PTI chairman post, three of whom were accepted and one rejected.

However, the other three candidates later withdrew their nominations, and Barrister Gohar was elected the chairman unopposed.

Mr Ayub, who was also part of Barrister Gohar’s panel, was nominated by the PTI founder.

He thanked Mr Jabbar and Dr Aslam, who “voluntarily withdrew” their nomination papers in favour of Mr Gohar “in the party’s interest” and to maintain harmony and unity.

Mr Hasan added that nomination papers of Naveed Anjum Khan were rejected because he contested the general election against a PTI-backed independent candidate.

Therefore, his party membership was cancelled by the district president on February 11.

Saleem Shahid in Quetta also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2024

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