The Supreme Court upheld the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to deprive the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) of its poll symbol, ‘bat’. The court ruled that there was not enough evidence to show that intra-party polls were held within PTI, leading to delays in the ECP’s decision. The court also emphasized the importance of democracy in Pakistan and highlighted that the ECP did not act in a biased manner against PTI. The delay in the court order affected the ECP’s deadlines for allotment of symbols to candidates. The court explained that the ECP has the duty to ensure that political parties hold intra-party elections periodically and that every member has an equal opportunity. PTI’s appeal was rejected, and the court criticized the ECP for not providing sufficient evidence of intra-party elections. The decision was criticized by a senior lawyer at the Supreme Court, who linked it to political engineering in the 2018 elections. The PTI lawyer highlighted the potential consequences of denying PTI its electoral symbol. Overall, the Supreme Court’s decision favored the ECP’s ruling and emphasized the importance of democracy and fair election practices within political parties.
Source: Dawn, January 14th, 2024
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