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ECP files intra-court appeal viz decision of Peshawar High Court

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) filed an intra-court appeal on Saturday challenging the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) suspension of the ECP ruling on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) intra-party polls and the abrogation of the party’s ‘cricket bat’ electoral symbol.
The electoral body, following internal discussions, consulted with legal experts regarding the PHC’s ruling against the ECP decision. The petition was filed after these deliberations.
The application, filed by a lawyer of the ECP, has requested the appointment of a special two-member bench for an early hearing.
On December 26, the PHC suspended the declaration of PTI’s internal polls as “unconstitutional” and restored the party’s ‘cricket bat’ electoral symbol.
In its order, the court had directed the election commission to publish PTI’s certificate on its website and restore the party’s electoral symbol.
“As elections are scheduled to be held on 8th February 2024 and the last date for allotment of election symbols is 13th January 2024, so keeping in view the urgency that a political party has been denuded of its symbol, meaning thereby that aspirants from the general public who were willing to vote for the petitioners’ party were divested of their right to vote as per their choice,” it had added.
The PHC’s decision was slammed by numerous political parties including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F).
The PML-N President and former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif had termed the PHC decision as “pre-poll rigging that reeks of partisanship”. He had said the ECP had given a fact-based decision over the “irregularities and rigging” in the PTI’s intra-party elections.