PTI’s Electoral Symbol Retained, Despite Losing Election

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) declared on Tuesday that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) remains a registered political party, even though it has lost its electoral symbol due to the party’s failure to conduct intra-party elections, according to a spokesperson for the Election Commission.

The spokesperson clarified that the PTI’s registration has not been terminated; rather, the electoral symbol has been withdrawn for future elections as the party failed to fulfill the legal requirement of holding intra-party elections.

When asked whether successful independent candidates from the general elections held on February 8 can join PTI, the spokesperson explained that this is a legal matter that requires consultation with the legal wing of the Election Commission. The legal team would need to assess the legal implications of reclaiming the electoral symbol for PTI and determine if successful independent candidates can participate in the National and Provincial Assemblies as PTI members.

Waseem Sajjad, former Chairman of the Senate and constitutional expert, expressed concern over the matter. He acknowledged the complexity of the situation but emphasized that regaining the electoral symbol for PTI should not hinder successful independent candidates from participating in elections.

He explained that since the Election Commission did not terminate the party’s registration, PTI still exists, and successful independent candidates could potentially join PTI in a manner similar to other political parties.

Anwar Mansoor, former Attorney General and senior lawyer, noted that successful independent candidates in the recent elections would have the option to join PTI. He stated that after winning elections, independent candidates could represent PTI in the future parliament.

However, Kanwar Dilshad, former Secretary of the Election Commission, expressed a different opinion. He highlighted that a political party loses not only its electoral symbol but also its official status with the Election Commission when deprived of its electoral symbol due to failure to conduct intra-party elections.

The situation raises legal and procedural questions, and the Election Commission’s legal wing will need to examine the ramifications of reclaiming PTI’s electoral symbol and whether winning independent candidates can affiliate with PTI. The outcome of this assessment will determine the party’s future participation in parliamentary sessions.