No 'Bat' Symbol, No Problem: PTI Launches Portal To Help Match Candidates To Symbols In Each Constituency

PTI candidates are contesting the elections as independents and, thus, have all been allotted different symbols 

No 'Bat' Symbol, No Problem: PTI Launches Portal To Help Match Candidates To Symbols In Each Constituency

Candidates of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will be contesting next month's general elections as independent candidates. The move was necessitated after the party lost its electoral symbol, 'Bat'. But the party has devised a unique solution to help voters match candidates to symbols in each constituency.

On Sunday, PTI's social media team came up with the idea of a web-based portal where people can visually match a symbol to the party in each constituency.

In a clip posted on its official account, the PTI said that voters can search for a candidate's name and the symbol the Election Commission of Pakistan has allotted them.

PTI said that they have completed the portal but are waiting on the official data for each candidate and the symbol allotted to them.

In a demo video posted on social media alongside the announcement, PTI showed how results would appear if someone searched for the constituency NA-1. As soon as the search button is clicked, the name of Imran Khan, constituency NA-1 and the symbol, "Batsman" were shown as the result.

In response, lawyer Saifullah Khan Afridi responded on the social platform "X", formerly known as Twitter, that if a web app is built and conveyed into apps for mobile phones, it could be quickly distributed to voters. 

Another person reacted by saying it was innovative and easy. 

Another suggested publishing lists of candidates and symbols constituency-wise.

A user pointed out that PTI has been technologically advanced compared to competitors.

User Shahzad Khalid suggested making it an option in the PTI Rabita app.

PTI candidates lost their party's identifiable symbol of a 'Bat' after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) last month determined that the PTI had failed to hold intraparty elections as per the law and in the manner prescribed in the party's constitution. Consequently, intraparty elections held in December were deemed as null and void while the party's electoral symbol was withdrawn. 

The PTI challenged the matter in the Peshawar High Court (PHC), which restored the symbol of PTI and suspended the ECP's ruling. The ECP, however, took the matter to the Supreme Court, which issued an order late on Saturday, set aside the PHC order and upheld the ECP's ruling. 

Anticipating this, the PTI announced on Saturday that it would issue certificates from a splinter group of the party, the PTI-Nazriati, helmed by Asif Iqbal Dar. Dar, in a press conference at the Lahore Press Club on Saturday evening, stated that the PTI had issued fake certificates and that none of those who were provided with certificates of PTI-N were party members.

Consequently, they fell afoul of the Election Act 2017, which bars the candidate of a party from contesting elections on the symbol of another party. 

The ECP issued election symbols as per schedule on January 13 after candidates submitted party certificates to the respective returning and district returning officers. 

PTI candidates, who had announced to contest the elections scheduled for February 8 as independents in the wake of the Supreme Court's orders, were allotted various symbols from the pool of symbols reserved for independent candidates, including teapots to shoes, bowls, kettles, etc.