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Friday, May 24, 2024

PTI reveals ‘Plan C’ in the face of recent setbacks

Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, a senior PTI leader, expressed worries about potential "horse-trading," where winning PTI candidates could be poached by other parties to strengthen their positions.

Despite facing setbacks, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) remains determined to challenge its political opponents with the announcement of ‘Plan C’ for the upcoming elections. The recent Supreme Court ruling favored the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), resulting in the loss of PTI’s ‘bat’ symbol. Additionally, Tehreek-e-Insaf Nazriati reneged on a deal to share its symbol with PTI for the elections.

In the February 8 elections, PTI candidates will run independently with various symbols like kettle, brinjal, and tongs. Concerns were raised about not securing reserved seats designated for political parties, a crucial factor for a party aspiring to gain power in the National Assembly, which has a total of 336 seats, including 70 reserved for women and non-Muslims.

Read more: Umpire gave no ball: Imran Khan reacts to loss of bat from PTI

Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, a senior PTI leader, expressed worries about potential “horse-trading,” where winning PTI candidates could be poached by other parties to strengthen their positions. Legal experts suggest that this practice would be permissible as elected independent candidates cannot be bound by party policy and cannot be disqualified under Article 63-A, dealing with party members’ defection.

Barrister Muhammad Ahmed Pansota clarified that PTI as a political party remains intact; it is the symbol that has been temporarily taken away for the upcoming elections. He emphasized that after general and intra-party elections, the party can apply for reserved seats based on its symbol.

Gohar Ali Khan outlined ‘Plan C,’ stating that after the elections, within three days, elected candidates can join PTI, allowing the party to reclaim reserved seats. Although this strategy was acknowledged as unconventional on live television, it reflects PTI’s approach to reuniting its members.

Read more: PTI withdraws contempt of court appeal against ECP

Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat), explained that reserved seats are proportionate to winning candidates and their political affiliations. Independent candidates can join a party that contested the polls, has parliamentary representation, and filed nomination papers for reserved seats. Establishing a new party without participating in the polls or filing nominations is not allowed under existing rules and regulations.