Home Latest News PTI’s Plan C Aims to ‘Reform’ Party after Elections

PTI’s Plan C Aims to ‘Reform’ Party after Elections

Party leader Gohar Ali Khan claims it will have a chance to secure reserved seats if it acts within three days of the Feb. 8 polls

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The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday indicated it has a ‘Plan C’ in place to secure power after the Feb. 8 elections, after it lost its electoral symbol—Plan A—and then was denied a chance to contest polls on another party’s ticket—Plan B.

On Saturday, the Supreme Court upheld the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s decision to withdraw the party’s symbol of a cricket bat, effectively preventing it from contesting the elections under a single platform. The same day, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Nazriati also rejected claims it had inked a deal with the PTI to share its symbol for elections by allocating tickets to PTI candidates.

Consequently, all PTI candidates are now contesting polls as independent candidates, with differing electoral symbols. The party is also ineligible for reserved seats, which are allocated on the basis of political affiliation. Independents, not bound by party affiliation, are also not bound by party policy and can defect to any other party, raising fears the PTI’s winning candidate could opt to switch loyalties to other parties without any penalty.

Acknowledging the challenges facing it, PTI leader Gohar Ali Khan told Geo News anchor Hamid Mir on Monday that the party could still secure reserved seats and potentially form a government if it is able to “reform” itself after polls are done. “We will have three days after elections,” he said, claiming the independent lawmakers would need to “join” the PTI and inform the relevant authorities, enabling it to avail reserved seats.

It is, however, unclear if this plan is legally viable. While some legal experts believe that so long as the party is intact—having only lost its symbol—it can re-apply for reserved seats after elections, others maintain that the reserved seats are allocated after a total number of electoral wins, on basis of political affiliation, are tabulated. In the latter scenario, it is likely the PTI could face a legal challenge to its plan and potentially see Plan C going the way of plans A and B.

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