Barrister Ali Zafar to run for PTI chairman’s slot in intra-party polls: Gohar

Says Omar Ayub will secretary-general’s candidate in intra-party polls taking place on March 3

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s next chairman nominee is Barrister Ali Zafar, PTI leader Barrister Gohar Ali Khan announced Thursday, as the former ruling party’s top post remains vacant for more than a month.

“This time, our candidate for party chairman will be Barrister Ali Zafar and Omar Ayub secretary general,” Gohar told journalists outside Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail after meeting party founder Imran Khan.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) batted the PTI party from keeping its electoral symbol, citing irregularities in their internal polls that did not comply with the party’s own constitution and election laws — also leaving it without top posts.

Despite relief from the Peshawar High Court, the Supreme Court took away PTI’s symbol in December, just two months before the February 8 general elections, which caused a major blow to it as securing reserved seats even after joining hands with the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) post-polls remains a challenge.

The fresh intra-party elections will take place on March 3, announced Gohar, and said that everyone would do everything in their power to ensure that Zafar is elected as the party’s next chairman.

Earlier this month, PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan had announced holding intra-party polls to elect the chairman, central and provincial organising bodies on February 5 but the party, however, postponed the elections.

As per the PTI’s election schedule, candidates intending to contest the intra-party polls can submit their nomination papers on February 23 and 24, with the scrutiny being carried out on February 25.

Meanwhile, the final decisions on nomination papers will be announced on February 27 and the polling will be held on March 3 at the party’s central office as well as provincial secretariats.

Earlier this week, the party — whose candidates won over 80 National Assembly (NA) seats, secured victory in more than 100 Punjab Assembly seats and emerged as the largest party in the KP Assembly in the Feb 8 polls — announced joining hands with the SIC in the Centre, Punjab and KP in a bid to secure its share of the 70 NA reserved seats for women and minorities which are allocated proportionally to the parties.


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