Intra-party polls: Most members unaware of PTI's decision

"They announced intra-party elections but kept it secret for no obvious reasons," party's former lawmaker says

By
Mushtaq Yusufzai
A supporter and activist of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party hold party´s flag as he takes part in an election campaign rally in Lahore on January 28, 2024, ahead of the upcoming general elections. — AFP
A supporter and activist of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party hold party´s flag as he takes part in an election campaign rally in Lahore on January 28, 2024, ahead of the upcoming general elections. — AFP

  • PTI is set to hold intra-party polls on Feb 5.
  • Only allows "registered" members to vote
  • KP member says polls kept secret by party.


PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) intra-party polls continue to remain controversial due to its secretive process leaving many party members unaware of who would cast votes in the decisive event, largely dominated by its Khyber Pakhtunkhwa leadership, senior party officials told The News.

PTI, on Thursday, announced that it will be holding its intra-party polls on February 5 with "registered" members allowed to vote in the electoral process. 

"This is the fourth blunder that some of the party leaders are going to commit. They announced intra-party elections but kept it secret for no obvious reasons," the party's former KP lawmaker said.

Pleading anonymity, he said the party has already been in crisis, for which he held some of the PTI senior leaders responsible, saying the latest move that could further undermine the party position in the February election would be the intra-party polls scheduled for February 5, 2024.

He said it was the first time that neither the party's former MNAs, MPAs and even members of the core committee were aware if they would be allowed to cast their votes.

“Unfortunately the party founding chairman is in jail and left the party to a few individuals who committed serious mistakes in the party ticket distribution. It annoyed genuine party members and they stood against PTI candidates in many places as tickets were not allotted on merit,” said the senior leader, also contesting election on a PTI ticket for the National Assembly.

He said a few party leaders had held a general body meeting a few days ago and decided to hold the intra-party election, but none of the PTI office-bearers were invited to the meeting.

“They had invited selected people in the name of the general body. Interestingly, none of the party senior leaders, including most of the former MNAs, MPAs, and members of the core committee was registered to voter list who would participate in the intra-party election,” said the PTI leader.

He said he was dead sure that the Supreme Court would again reject the election results as to how the court accepts the election when senior party members are not allowed to cast their votes.

Another PTI leader and former parliamentarian had similar views, saying he and other former party lawmakers had not been taken into confidence in ticket distribution and intra-party elections.

“There are a few people who claimed Imran Khan had empowered them to make decisions. Their first blunder was holding secret intra-party elections that were rejected by the Supreme Court and it deprived the party of its electoral symbol ‘bat’. Their second blunder was keeping the ticket distribution secret, the third blunder was keeping Plan B in secret and their fourth blunder is again holding the intra-party election in secret,” the PTI leader explained.

Efforts were made to reach Ali Amin Gandapur, PTI provincial president, to seek his comments but he neither answered phone calls nor replied to the text message delivered to his cellphone.

PTI spokesman, Zahir Shah Toru, when contacted, said that he had heard of the intra-party election but he was not aware of further details.

“I am busy in my election campaign but how can the court accept the results if the intra-party election is held secretly. I will check with relevant people and share my views with you later,” said the PTI spokesman.