ECP issues notice to PTI on pleas contesting intra-party polls

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday issued a notice to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in response to pleas against the party’s intra-party elections, alleging they were “rigged and fraudulent”.

The ECP issued a notice to the party in response to the recent plea filed by estranged PTI founding member Akbar S. Babar. Last week, Babar approached the commission, challenging the conduct of intra-party elections that resulted in Barrister Gohar Khan replacing Imran Khan as PTI chairman.

Gohar was elected as the new party chairman after being nominated by Imran for the intra-party election, conducted on Dec 2 on an ECP directive.

However, the party was on the receiving end of sharp criticism over the polls as Babar announced that he would challenge the entire process in a court of law. He had alleged that the PTI had carried out a selection process aimed at throwing out party workers to give the reins to a few lawyers.

Separately, the leaders of the country’s mainstream parties, including the PML-N and PPP, also questioned the legitimacy of the intra-party elections.

The same day, Babar penned a letter to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja. He had said that after the commission directed the party to hold the polls, the PTI core committee issued a press release saying that preparations were complete and announced Niazullah Niazi as the PTI CEC.