PTI begins campaign for Punjab elections

LAHORE: Amid uncertainty over elections, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday announced that the opposition party will launch its election campaign for Punjab polls on Monday, Geo News reported.

In a tweet, party’s Secretary General Asad Umar said: “PTI will officially launch its election campaign from tomorrow. They (Pakistan Democratic Movement coalition) may not be ready but we are (ready).”

Earlier this week, the PTI finalised a list of 297 candidates for the elections. Its announcement of launching the election campaign comes despite uncertainty over the polls.

The opposition party finalised the list of candidates after the party’s chairman Imran Khan interviewed all party candidates in person to uphold merit in distributing party tickets. He held one-on-one interviews with all candidates from April 6-18 to select nominees for polls.

However, the issuance of tickets has not gone well within the party as many high-profile leaders of the party, including deputy chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi and senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry, were not given tickets.

Khan has been planning to include Qureshi and Umar in the review committee to address objections raised by party members. On Thursday, the PTI set up a four-member committee to address objections regarding the issuance of party tickets.

The panel included Musaddiq Abbasi, Ejaz Chaudhary, Rai Hassan Nawaz, and Aoon Abbas. However, after backlash from party workers and supporters, Khan is likely to involve some senior members to make a decision over the appeals regarding the issuance of tickets.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (PTI) is waiting for funds from the federal government to hold elections, as per the news report. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court directed the ECP to conduct elections in Punjab on May 14.

Earlier in an order on April 4, the Supreme Court also directed the federal government to release Rs21 billion in funds for the ECP by April 10 and give security for the polls. However, the PDM government has refused to release funds for the elections as the parliament rejected the proposal.

During the proceedings, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that the three-judge bench will not take back its order for elections.


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