PTI's Battle For Electoral Symbol: ECP Files Review Petition In Peshawar High Court

ECP files two petitions in the Peshawar High Court, with one to review its previous decision and the other to form a two-member division bench for the early hearing of the case

PTI's Battle For Electoral Symbol: ECP Files Review Petition In Peshawar High Court

The Election Commission of Pakistan has approached the Peshawar High Court, filing a review petition against the interim order granted by the court that restored Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) intra-party elections and returned their electoral symbol, 'Bat'.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday filed two petitions in the court. The first sought a review of the interim order issued by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) earlier in the week, which overturned a decision by the commission in which it declared the intra-party elections of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as illegal because it failed to meet the criteria for the elections listed in PTI's constitution.

The PHC's order, issued by a single-member bench, suspended the ECP's decision, effectively restoring the intra-party elections of PTI, its newly-elected chairperson, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan and PTI's electoral symbol, 'Bat'.

In its second petition, the commission urged the PHC to form a two-member division bench to hear the case and expedite its hearing.

On November 23, 2023, the ECP told the PTI to complete its intra-party elections and submit the records within 20 days or risk losing its electoral symbol.

When PTI held the elections, the party announced that given the former prime minister and then-party chairman's incarceration and other legal battles, he would not contest the intra-party elections. Instead, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan will be contesting for the post of chairman. Gohar was subsequently elected as the chairman in the intra-party elections held on December 2. 

But the elections were challenged by disgruntled PTI member Akbar S Babar for having failed to follow the procedure listed in the party's constitution. On December 22, the ECP declared the intra-party elections void and withdrew the 'Bat' symbol from the party.

The party went to the PHC, where Justice Kamran Hayat Mian issued an interim order and termed the ECP's decision illegal on December 26. 

The court had maintained that once the winter vacations end in early January 2024, a division bench will take up the case.