The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided to postpone the intra-party elections that were initially arranged for February 5th. According to the chairman of the PTI, Barrister Gohar Khan, this decision was made at the direction of the party’s founder Imran Khan and was announced a day after the official schedule was released.
Imran Khan highlighted the possibility that the internal polls could “detract the focus of candidates and voters” from the pivotal general elections that are slated to take place on February 8th. This action is taken as the political party confronts a complex political environment, as it approaches the nationwide elections devoid of its customary “bat” emblem as a result of ongoing legal conflicts with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The postponement decision signifies a reversal of the announcement made the day before, in which the PTI released an exhaustive schedule for the internal elections. The announcement that followed Raoof Hasan’s appointment as federal election commissioner detailed the party’s strategies for electing new leaders to its central and provincial organizations.
This development transpires subsequent to the contentious intra-party elections that were conducted in December 2023. Akbar S Babar, a founding member, challenged the elections on the grounds of irregularities and petitioned the ECP to reestablish the electoral process. Babar challenged the election of Barrister Gohar Khan, who was nominated by Imran Khan, as chairman, and petitioned the electoral authority.
The PTI redirects its attention towards the imminent national elections following the postponement of its internal elections. Speculation persists regarding the performance and prospective leadership of the party, especially in light of the ongoing legal disputes and the absence of its emblematic symbol. The effects of this strategic maneuver on the party’s performance in the forthcoming elections are yet to be determined.