Second time lucky? Barrister Gohar Ali Khan elected PTI chairman unopposed

Omar Ayub elected secretary general, Yasmin Rashid Punjab president unopposed as rival panels withdraw

PTI Chairman Gohar Khan talks to the media as he arrives to attend a hearing at the High Court in Islamabad on August 9, 2023. — AFP
PTI Chairman Gohar Khan talks to the media as he arrives to attend a hearing at the High Court in Islamabad on August 9, 2023. — AFP
  • PTI to organise poll for Balochistan president’s post.
  • Final result to be declared by election commissioner on March 3.
  • PTI intra-party polls declared invalid by top court last month.

ISLAMABAD: Barrister Gohar Ali Khan was elected unopposed as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) chairman on Thursday, becoming the only person to be elected to the office twice in the party, after his rival panel’s withdrawal.

“At the conclusion of the withdrawal phase of candidates/panels, there is only one candidate/panel remaining,” the PTI said in a statement late Thursday.

Omar Ayub Khan has been elected unopposed as the Imran-founded party’s central general secretary, as per the party’s declaration issued today.

Dr Yasmin Rashid, Ali Amin Gandapur, and Haleem Adil Sheikh were also among the party leaders who were elected unopposed to the positions of the party’s presidents for Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Sindh, respectively, as no candidate came forward to contest against them.

The former ruling party will organise an intra-party poll in Quetta for the Balochistan president’s post.

“The final result of the election will, however, be declared by the Federal Election Commissioner on March 3, 2024, at the conclusion of the election process,” read the statement. 

The intra-party polls were held again after the Supreme Court last month upheld the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decision on the party’s internal election, leading to the party losing its iconic electoral bat symbol.

In November last year, incarcerated party founder Imran Khan stepped down as the PTI chief to avoid any legal implications as he has been facing scores of cases ranging from terrorism to money laundering since his ouster from power in April 2022. The PTI founder had nominated Barrister Gohar for the post of the party chief.  

Subsequently, the PTI held intra-party elections on December 2 last year, on the directives of the ECP, which were declared null and void.

Due to the top court’s ruling, the embattled PTI candidates contested the February 8 polls as independents and emerged victorious with 92 National Assembly seats. 

Despite winning the most seats, the PTI decided to sit on opposition benches as it refused to ally with its rivals Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to form a coalition government in the Centre.

The PTI-affiliated candidates have joined the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) in the lower house of parliament and the provincial assemblies in a bid to retain the reserved seats — a decision on its plea seeking allotment of reserved seats has been reserved by the ECP.

PTI founding member Akbar S Babar, who challenged the party’s internal polls in the ECP last year, has once again announced challenging the fresh elections.

Babar while talking to reporters last week said he had decided to challenge the latest attempt by the defunct PTI leadership to hold another intra-party elections on March 3, as it had no legal basis to conduct such an exercise.

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