PTI stripped of ‘Bat’ symbol, as ECP declares intra-party polls unlawful

PTI stripped of ‘Bat’ symbol, as ECP declares intra-party polls unlawful

Islamabad: ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday nullified the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) intra-party elections, taking back the party’s symbol “cricket bat”.

The five-member ECP bench, led by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, announced a reserved verdict.

“So keeping in view, the clear mandate of Elections Act, 2017 read with PTI constitution 2019, it is held that PTI has not complied with our directions rendered therein order dated 23rd November, 2023 and failed to hold intra-party election in accordance with PTI prevailing Constitution, 2019 and Election Act, 2017, and Election Rules, 2017,” the ECP’s written order read.

“Therefore, the certificate dated 4th December, 2023 and Form-65 filed by the alleged Chairman, is hereby regretted and rejected accordingly. The provisions of Section 215 of the Election Act, 2017 are hereby invoked and PTI is hereby declared ineligible to obtain, the Election Symbol, for which they have applied for,” the order stated.

Earlier the day, the Supreme Court had called for the provision of a level playing field for all political parties, including the PTI, to foster healthy electoral competition.

In an order on a petition, filed by Gohar Ali Khan, a three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Athar Minallah, said the ECP plays a crucial role in the democratic process, especially in conducting elections.