Politics

Barrister Gohar Ali Khan Becomes PTI Chairman, Omar Ayub Secretary General

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has elected a new leadership team in its intra-party elections held on Saturday, December 2, 2023. The elections were conducted on the orders of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which had directed the party to hold transparent and democratic polls within 20 days to qualify for being allotted the ‘bat’ electoral symbol.

Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, a Supreme Court lawyer and a close aide of Imran Khan, has been elected unopposed as the new chairman of the party, replacing the incarcerated former prime minister. Omar Ayub Khan, a former minister and a member of the National Assembly, has been elected as the central secretary general of the party. Both candidates were nominated by Imran Khan himself, who had decided not to contest for the office of the chairman.

The PTI Election Commissioner Niazullah Niazi announced the names of the new office-bearers at a press conference in Islamabad. He said that all the candidates and panels had been elected unopposed, as no other nominations were received. He also said that Akbar S. Babar, a founding member of the PTI who had challenged the party’s previous intra-party elections in the ECP, did not get in touch to submit his nomination papers. He said that Babar was neither a party member nor a candidate, and his opposition to the chairman’s candidate was rejected.

Niazi said that the party had followed the Constitution and the democratic norms in conducting the elections, and had submitted a report to the ECP. He said that the party had also conducted its intra-party polls in 2022, but the ECP had raised some objections and ordered fresh elections.

The party also announced the names of the provincial presidents, who were also elected unopposed. Dr Yasmin Rashid, a former Punjab minister and a member of the Punjab Assembly, has been elected as the PTI Punjab president. Haleem Adil Sheikh, a former Sindh minister and a member of the Sindh Assembly, has been elected as the PTI Sindh president. Ali Amin Gandapur, a former federal minister and a member of the National Assembly, has been elected as the PTI Khyber Pakhtunkhwa president. Munir Ahmed, a former Balochistan minister and a member of the Balochistan Assembly, has been elected as the PTI Balochistan president.

The PTI’s intra-party elections have come at a critical juncture, as the party faces multiple challenges on the political and legal fronts. Imran Khan, the founder and former chairman of the party, is currently serving a 3-year jail term after being convicted for illegally selling state gifts in August 2023.

The new leadership of the party has vowed to continue the vision and mission of Imran Khan, and to work for the welfare and development of the people of Pakistan. They have also expressed their confidence in the party’s performance in the upcoming general elections, which are expected to be held in 2024.

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