ANP fears its electoral symbol may be snatched in a 'balancing act'

By
Abubakar Saddiq

Central Senior Vice President Awami National Party (ANP) Ameer Haider Khan Hoti is addressing an organizational meeting in Mardan on December 25, 2024. —Twitter/ANP
Central Senior Vice President Awami National Party (ANP) Ameer Haider Khan Hoti is addressing an organizational meeting in Mardan on December 25, 2024. —Twitter/ANP
  • Ameer Khan Hoti says some secrets better be kept confidential.
  • ANP requests to take decision according to law and Constitution.
  • Intra-party elections have to be held within five years, he says.


PESHAWAR: Central Senior Vice President Awami National Party (ANP) Ameer Haider Khan Hoti on Tuesday expressed fears that snatching of his party's electoral symbol was also being mulled over in a balancing act to prove another judgment right.

The ANP leader's comments came after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) reserved its verdict on the party's request for the grant of six months to conduct intra-party elections, risking the possibility of losing its polls symbol ‘lantern’.

The commission had earlier deemed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) intra-party polls “unconstitutional” and revoked its claim on the iconic electoral symbol.

“May Allah prove it wrong, but they might take a decision against the ANP to prove one judgment right,” Ameer Haider Hoti said in a speech, adding that this move was being attempted to be executed in a similar fashion as verdicts against Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif and Jahangir Khan Tareen were delivered.

Hoti said some secrets better be kept confidential as they wanted to forget them. However, he requested the concerned quarters that whatever the decision is taken it should be in accordance with the law and Constitution of the country.

“According to the law, the intra-party elections have to be held within five years and their five years for the polls will complete in May 2024,” he said.

The senior ANP leader said they would not forget if new wounds were inflicted.

On December 22, a five-member ECP bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, heard the case of ANP intra-party elections.

ANP Secretary General Mian Iftikhar Hussain had appeared before the bench and informed that the last election of ANP was held back in May 2019 and that the term of their intra-party election was four years. Accordingly, the party’s election was to be held in May this year, he had said.

The ECP officials had explained that the petitioner could not fulfil the legal requirement and wanted more time to do the needful.

A certificate about a political party’s intra-party polls is the pre-requisite for qualifying for the allotment of election symbol. 

A member of the electoral authority made it clear that the ECP can extend the intra-party election deadline for five years, not more than that.