PTI rebuffs ‘claims’ Imran will not contest intra-party polls

  • Says no decision yet on current chief’s withdrawal or his replacement
  • Marwat had tell media chief had decided to not contest polls due to legal prohibitions

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Tuesday rebuffed ‘claims and speculations’ that chief Imran Khan, who is currently incarcerated at Adiala jail, would not contest intra-party polls for the slot of party chairman.

The statement by the PTI was issued in response to one by a “senior leader”. Although the party did not name the leader, earlier in the day PTI’s Sher Afzal Khan Marwat had stated that Imran had decided to not contest the election for PTI chairman due to legal prohibitions and his disqualification in the Toshakhana case.

Marwat, who was appointed a senior vice president of the party last week, had made the remarks while speaking to PTI social media representatives outside Adiala jail.

“Khan sahib himself has decided that he will not contest the polls for the office of PTI chairman,” he had said, adding that this decision was taken with consensus. Marwat said the decision would be reversed as soon as the disqualification was set aside.

However, hours later, the PTI issued a statement on social media platform X stating that it “strongly denies” speculation in the media on the issue. It also denied the claims by a “senior party leader” about Imran not running for party chairman in intra-party elections.

“Discussions are ongoing on all the important issues regarding the holding of intra-party elections,” the party said. It said that no decision was taken as yet regarding withdrawing Imran from the election or nominating another leader in his place.

The party said that as soon as the leadership reached a conclusion on holding intra-party elections, the date and the selection of candidates, the details would be released to the media.

Meanwhile, Marwat stuck by his statement despite the party’s denial. In response to the statement issued by the PTI, Marwat said that he had “examined the paradox”.

“Whatever I have said in my media talk about the intra-party election is a correct statement. The decisions were taken by the PTI chairman in the presence of Senator Ali Zafar, Barrister Gohar, Umair Niazi and myself,” he said.

“I fail to understand who is behind the contradiction and why the misleading statement was issued. The media are advised to verify my statement with the above persons if you don’t mind,” he added.

ECP verdict

Last week, the ECP ruled that the PTI intra-party polls were not transparent, ordering the former ruling party to hold new elections if it wishes to retain its “bat” symbol.

The PTI was by the commission to hold fresh elections within 20 days in a reserved verdict announced on November 23.

In the verdict, the ECP stated that the PTI failed to hold free and fair intra-party elections, adding that the polls were objectionable and controversial.

“PTI’s intra-party elections cannot be accepted,” stated the verdict, directing it to hold polls and submit the record within seven days.

“If PTI fails to hold elections within 20 days then it will have to face severe consequences. In case of failure to hold [intra-party] elections, the [PTI] will not be eligible to secure an election symbol,” said the verdict.

The ECP had issued notices to the PTI for not holding intra-party polls on August 2 and reserved its verdict on the matter on September 13.

 

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