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The Court Halts Election Commission’s Decision on PTI Intra-Party Election

Discover how the court intervened to prevent the Election Commission from making a decision against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) intra-party election. Stay informed on the latest developments in this legal matter.

The Court Halts Election Commission's Decision on PTI Intra-Party Election

Peshawar: The Peshawar High Court has halted the final decision on the petition filed against the intra-party elections of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and ordered the Election Commission to refrain from making a conclusive decision. The court has scheduled the hearing for the case until December 19, seeking a response from the concerned parties.

According to Express News, a two-member bench comprising Justice S.M. Atiq Shah and Justice Shakil Ahmed heard the petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. During the hearing, PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali, Judge Muhammad Anwar, Shah Faisal Atman Khel, Muhammad Nauman Kakakhel, and other lawyers representing the party appeared before the court.

Barrister Gohar Ali informed the court that the intra-party election of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf took place in Peshawar on December 2, in which the party chairman was elected unopposed. Against this election, a petition was filed by Akbar A.S. Babar, who is not even a member of the party.

Barrister Gohar Ali explained to the court that the Intra-Party Election Act of 2017, under Sections 208 and 209, mandates the holding of intra-party elections every five years within political parties. However, a petition was filed against these elections in the Election Commission, which is non-admissible, and the Election Commission did not have the authority to hear this petition.

Despite this, Barrister Gohar Ali stated that a full bench has now scheduled a hearing for this petition, and it has been decided that if there is no representation from the PTI, a decision can still be made in their absence.

The Chairman of PTI told the court that historically, no party has challenged intra-party elections, and the Election Commission has not issued any notices in this regard. However, whenever the matter involves the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the Election Commission shows bias and exercises extreme caution.

During the proceedings, Justice Shakil Ahmed inquired about the complainant’s current party membership status, to which Barrister Gohar clarified that he is no longer a party member, and the membership was terminated more than 10 years ago. He emphasized that the petitioner is no longer a party member, and the elections held on September 13, 2023, were in accordance with the Election Commission’s regulations.

Barrister Gohar informed the court that after the elections, he submitted all necessary documents and materials to the Election Commission with formalities to notify the Election Commission in the gazette. However, instead of issuing the notification, a petition was filed against him, challenging his eligibility.

He further stated that there is no precedent in Pakistan’s history where any party has challenged intra-party elections. However, when it comes to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the Election Commission is willing to go to any extent. He expressed concern that if the intra-party election is declared null and void, the Election Commission will announce the electoral schedule the next day. If the notification is not issued, such issues will arise.

After the initial hearing, the court directed the Election Commission to stop the final decision on the mentioned petition. The Election Commission has been given seven days to respond to the request, and the case will be heard until December 19. The court has also instructed the Election Commission to collect comments on the said petition.

Subsequently, in a media conversation, Barrister Gohar stated that PTI and Balochistan represent 70% of the population, and it is essential and imperative for them to work together. He expressed concern that there is an attempt to remove the electoral symbol of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, against which he has filed a petition in the Peshawar High Court, and relief has been granted.

Barrister Gohar argued that the Election Commission is exceeding its limits against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and is making decisions that have no precedent in the past. Imran Khan is the chairman of PTI, a democratic personality, and PTI will not boycott future elections.

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He further stated that if we had not filed the case in the High Court, the Election Commission would have changed the electoral symbol, which would have been unbearable. We have been ordered to appear before the Election Commission, and we have better hopes from the judiciary than the Election Commission.

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