Infostani International- On Monday, the PTI withdrew its request to initiate contempt proceedings against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The party claimed that the ECP had not implemented the Supreme Court’s orders to ensure a level playing field for the upcoming general elections.
PTI Withdraws Contempt Plea and ‘Bat’ Symbol: Electoral Controversy and Democracy Concerns
The party decided to withdraw its petitions as it lost its iconic ‘bat’ symbol following the apex court’s affirmation of the electoral watchdog’s Dec. 22 ruling declaring the PTI’s intra-party polls “unconstitutional.”
Consequently, party members will now run as independent candidates with different electoral symbols, losing the right to reserve seats for women and minorities. On December 26, PTI filed a contempt plea, accusing the ECP of not complying with court orders to address grievances promptly and ensure a smooth, open, transparent, free, and fair electoral process.
A three-member bench, led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and comprising justices Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Musarrat Hilali, heard the case. In response, the ECP stated on January 7 that 76% of PTI candidates’ nomination papers had been accepted, refuting claims of an uneven playing field.
PTI Withdraws Contempt Plea Against ECP, Citing Discontent: Khosa Criticizes SC Decision and Alleges Democracy Erosion
During the last hearing, CJP Isa advised PTI leader and lawyer Latif Khosa to refrain from making unsupported allegations against the ECP. As the court resumed the contempt plea, PTI informed the court of withdrawing its petitions, citing no expectations from the ECP and opting to go public. Subsequently, the SC disposed of the plea based on the withdrawal.
Outside the apex court, Khosa lamented that the SC’s decision had “destroyed democracy,” equating it to depriving 25 million Pakistanis of their voting rights. He recounted incidents of arrests and snatched nomination papers, criticizing the denial of these events by the Islamabad police chief. Khosa also addressed the intra-party polls, asserting that PTI conducted them within the ECP’s given 20-day period and dismissing the petitioners as non-members, misrepresenting millions.