The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday issued a schedule for fresh intra-party polls, slated for Feb. 5, three days before general elections.
In a statement, the central media department of the party said a meeting of its general body had appointed spokesperson Raoof Hasan as the federal election commissioner to oversee the polling exercise. Separately, it also announced members of its federal election commission, with Qazi Muhammad Anwar appointed for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; Senator Waleed Iqbal for Punjab; Justice (retd.) Noorul Haq Qureshi for Sindh; Muhammad Dawood Khan for Balochistan; and Shah Nasir for Gilgit-Baltistan.
“The PTI Federal Election Commission is pleased to announce the election schedule for the Intra-party elections of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to elect the chairman, central and provincial organizations,” read the statement issued by the PTI. It said all members of the party registered as such by Jan. 31 would be allowed to vote for their preferred panel or chairman candidate at designated locations across Pakistan. Party members can also record their vote through the ‘Raabta Application Intra Party Election Module,’ it added.
Details of contesting panels, per the statement, would be available on insaaf.pk as well as the Raabta app. Both portals would also provide a detailed procedure of the intra-party polls as defined in Election Rules, 2020.
According to the schedule, election venues and appellate tribunals would be announced on Feb. 1 (today); followed by collection of nomination forms either physically or digitally from Feb. 1-2. The deadline for submission of nomination forms is Feb. 2 at 10 p.m., with scrutiny to take place on Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Final panels for the polls would be published on Feb. 3 at 6 p.m., with any complaints against rejections due no later than 10 p.m. The tribunals would hear the complaints on Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m., followed by publication of final list of contesting candidates at 4 p.m.
Polling would take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 5, with results to be announced on Feb. 6.
According to constitutional expert Faisal Siddiqui, the PTI is required to conduct intra-party polls after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) revoked its electoral symbol over contested elections, as none of its candidates are bound to rejoin it after winning the polls. He told the Standard that without an elected chairman in the absence of valid intra-party polls, the party would be unable to enforce the defection clause and could not avoid horse-trading after the general elections.