Imran Khan-led Insaf Panel is likely to ‘clean sweep’ Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf intra-party elections, scheduled to be concluded by midnight on Monday.
With the success of the Insaf panel, PTI – that boasted of being more democratic in its internal affairs than other political parties – will join other ‘traditional’ parties which regularly held such ceremonious polls, ritually ‘selecting’ their leaders.
The entire exercise is tailored to subdue internal dissent which the party experienced in 2012 when it genuinely held intra-party polls, fully in line with its constitution.
However, to deflect any possible criticism, another panel – Ehtisab panel – was thrust in whose members are not even known to registered party members.
Someone named Naik Muhammad Khan is contesting against Imran Khan for the post of the party’s chairman while Syed Aftab Shah is in the race against Shah Mehmood Qureshi for the post of vice-chairman.
At the outset, PTI introduced drastic changes in its constitution, simplifying the structure of intra-party polls to pave the way for what a senior party leader termed “a dummy election”.
In the first phase of elections, 14 top party positions will be filled, including PTI chairman, vice-chairman, secretary-general, four regional presidents, one each for Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and one each for Balochistan, Sindh and Islamabad.
The results are expected to be announced on June 13 (Tuesday).
PTI, which is proud of its women vote bank, has interestingly made no woman candidate in either of the panels contesting the polls.
After key changes in the party’s constitution, panels would now contest polls instead of individual candidates. PTI is holding polls on the basis of direct representation instead of holding indirect elections.
The amended party constitution also abolished the need for holding elections for all positions simultaneously while enhancing the powers of party chief Imran Khan.
PTI kept the entire exercise low-key and the final schedule for the elections was released to the media just 10 days before the polling day to avoid unwarranted involvement of party activists.