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PTI intra-party polls being held today in Peshawar

Nominated by Imran Khan himself, Barrister Gohar is running as PTI chairman in intra-party polls

Supporters of PTI hold party flags during a rally in Lahore. — Online/File
  • Barrister Gohar running as PTI chair in intra-party polls today.
  • Ali Amin Gandapur is candidate for party’s KP chairmanship.
  • PTI has to “move forward carefully”, says party member.

ISLAMABAD: In line with the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) directives, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is set to conduct its intra-party polls today, adding “finishing touches” to its preparations.

Speaking to The News, a party member said that the PTI has to “move forward carefully” in the light of the treatment meted out to it. 

The central polling centre has been set up in Peshawar’s Rano Garhi near the Motorway Toll Plaza where its Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Presiding Officer Ali Zaman has arrived.

Zaman, speaking to Geo News, said that the PTI Ch­ief Election Commissi­oner Niazullah Niazi has arrived at the centre. He said the number of registered voters for the polls was more than 20 million.

“The vote can be cast through an online app and ballot paper at the election centre in Peshawar,” Zaman told Geo News.

Zaman said all candidates will be elected unopposed.

“If there are no objections, all the candidates will be elected uncontested,” Zaman said.

The monitoring of polls and announcement of their results will be done from the centre, while Niazi will announce the results, he added.

These elections hold immense importance in the country’s current political climate as the party’s Chairman Imran Khan has, for the first time since PTI’s inception, decided to hand over the chairmanship to one of his legal advisors, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, who will be holding the party reigns until the Khan’s release from jail.

Earlier this week, PTI member and senior lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar announced Gohar’s name as the party’s chair, adding that his position is temporary, as Khan would return as chairman once his disqualification in the wake of the Toshakhana case is overturned.

PTI leader Ali Amin Gandapur is the candidate for party KP chairmanship, while former provincial minister Atif Khan is running for Peshawar region president, party sources told Geo News.

Ali Asghar is running as the candidate for provincial general secretary.

‘Intra-party polls PTI’s unshakable commitment to democracy’

A PTI spokesperson, meanwhile, said that the conduct of the intra-party polls was a clear sign of the party’s unshakable commitment to democracy and unwavering belief in the rule of law.

He said the party’s founding chairman Khan was the main torchbearer of democracy among the political parties which was evident from his incessant and relentless efforts to introduce, inculcate and strengthen democratic values and norms in the party.

He reiterated that the PTI also held intra-party elections last year according to the law; but to set a great example of respect for the law, the party decided to hold the intra-party election again.

He emphasised that Khan had buried the traditional hereditary and family-limited politics and set a great example of democracy by nominating a hard-working, loyal and capable party worker for the chairman’s post.

Meanwhile, the party Friday started receiving nomination papers for the intra-party elections. Accordingly, Khan’s nominated candidate for chairman, Barrister Gohar, submitted his nomination papers, which were received by the returning officer Sardar Muhammad Masroof Khan Advocate.

Senior party leader Ahmed Owais proposed Gohar, whereas PTI Information Secretary Raoof Hasan was his seconder.

PTI CEC Niazi was also present on the occasion.

In a related development, PTI founding member and ex-central leader Akbar Sher Babar made a surprise visit to the PTI’s central secretariat after 13 years along with some other old party members.

Talking to the media persons, Babar said he had asked for three things from the Central Secretariat staff present on the occasion, copies of nomination papers, voter lists and methodology of the electoral process but in response got nothing.

“One of the secretariat representatives said we have nothing here to share with you. We think that old people will be back once again,” Babar quoted one PTI Central Secretariat staff member as saying.

The PTI’s Core Committee, earlier this week, gave formal approval to hold the intra-party polls within the time frame of 20 days given by the ECP. If the party does not follow the orders, it will lose its bat symbol.

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