ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has accepted another plea against the PTI’s intra-party elections, sources told Dawn on Wednesday.

The electoral watchdog seems to be meting out ‘special treatment’ to the party, as it has been issued a notice over alleged irregularities in intra-party polls, conducted on the ECP orders on March 3.

The party had filed documents related to its intra-party polls with the ECP on March 4. The documents, submitted by PTI’s Federal Election Commi­ssioner Raoof Hasan, included details about newly-elected party office-bearers, a certificate of the party chief containing Form 65, names of the core committee members, and other relevant record.

The party, which elected Barrister Gohar Ali Khan and Omar Ayub as its chairman and secretary general on March 3, needs the relevant certificate to qualify for the re-allocation of its electoral symbol “bat” by the ECP.

Now, the Political Finance Wing of the ECP has asked PTI representatives to appear before the electoral watchdog on April 30.

This is the third time that the commission has called the legality of PTI’s internal polls into question.

In November 2023, the ECP had annulled the intra-party polls of PTI held in June 2022, giving the former ruling party 20 days to go for a fresh election if it did not want to lose its electoral symbol — bat.

The ECP order came at a time when general elections were about two months away and political parties were ratcheting up their election campaigns across the country.

The PTI, which was al­­r­eady crying foul, had ter­med the ECP ruling an at­­tempt to keep former prime minister Imran Khan and his party away from polls.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2024

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