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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Breaking: PTI’s ‘Bat’ Symbol Revoked by ECP Amidst Intra-Party Election Scandal

Election Commission revokes PTI's 'bat' symbol, declares intra-party polls 'unlawful'—a political thunderbolt ahead of February 8 general elections.

In a significant blow to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced the revocation of the party’s iconic “bat” electoral symbol. The decision, delivered by a five-member ECP bench led by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, declared the intra-party polls as “null and void” due to irregularities and non-compliance with election regulations. This move follows PTI’s founder Imran Khan’s incarceration, adding complexity to the party’s electoral strategy.

The ECP’s 11-page order highlighted PTI’s failure to conduct intra-party elections in accordance with the prevailing Constitution, 2019, and Election Act, 2017, raising concerns about the legitimacy of the party’s leadership. Barrister Gohar Khan, who replaced Khan as the party’s chairman, is no longer the head of PTI following the verdict.


Challenges for PTI Ahead of General Elections

As PTI faces difficulties in filing nomination papers for the upcoming general elections on February 8, 2024, the loss of the ‘bat’ symbol compounds its troubles. Imran Khan’s absence from the political scene further complicates matters. PTI claims unfair targeting but received assurances of a level playing field from the ECP just hours before the verdict. Analysts, including Mazhar Abbas, express astonishment at the unprecedented nature of the ECP’s decision on intra-party polls, signaling a tough electoral battle for PTI.

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Despite the setback, PTI has vowed not to boycott the elections and announced plans to seek relief through the courts. The extended deadline for nomination papers adds urgency to PTI’s legal challenges, with only one day remaining to contest the ECP’s decision.

The implications of this decision on PTI’s electoral strategy and the broader democratic discourse in Pakistan remain at the forefront as the nation gears up for a crucial general election.

Watch Dr. Moeed Pirzada’s discuss ECP’s decisions and other significant developments.