LAHORE - Intra-party elections of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are likely to be held in October.

According to party rule, intra-party election take place every four years and for that standpoint, this time round the PML-N polls are already overdue.

However, PTI and PPP have announced going for this exercise much earlier.

Regardless of the fact how much elections in every political party reflect democratic mind in itself and how transparently their conduct is, holding of the polls is a requirement under the Political Parties Act and the Election Laws.

To match election in PTI due to be held in April, a faction in the PML-N is venturing to see intra party polls around the same time. However, majority view in the party is against this timeframe and is convinced the polls will be held in October for various reasons.

Sources in the party say the PML-N leadership is also inclined to hold the intra-party polls late so that proper time could be given to new membership all over the country as well as to organisation affairs of the party at the lower level.

The Punjab, where party has largest support for election victory, needs much time party for organisational matters at the tier of ward, tehshil, district and the division to end up at the province.

After national census in March, sources say, a considerable increase in the Punjab population is expected, as such the job of membership and the lower tier polls is open to take more time.

New membership in the party, sources, is expected to start in April-May however virtual conduct of the election would be take place in later months.

Sources say the section interested in matching the rival parties for holding party election in next two or three months is being realised that the PML-N is party much bigger in size than the rivals, so it needs party election after proper preparations so that the PML-N comes up more strongly in 2018 general election.

In March-April the PML-N would get busy budget preparations in the Centre, Punjab and Balochistan where it rules. That would follow June, July and August and September that would be marked by month of Ramazan, sizzling summer, rains, Hajj season and Eidul Azha weather.

In October, sources say, situation would be more suitable for holding the party elections for the weather would be moderate and basic work for the polls complete. As such, the leadership is prone to hold party polls in that month for which they say, final date would be decided with consultation.

PML-N party elections proceed from membership and end up at the election of the Central President of the Party.

Last time the party had elected Mian Nawaz Sharif as party President at the General Council meeting held at Convention Centre, Islamabad on July 27, 2011. He had succeeded his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif who took over the office while staying in Saudi Arabia in August 3, 2002 and later on August 2, 2006 in the same state.

The PML-N which was formed splitting from the PML 1988, has been headed by Nawaz Sharif except the period he spent in exile from December 2000 to November 2007 when Pervez Musharraf ruled Pakistan. The General Council of the party elected him unopposed.

Since the last election, most of the offices in the party are still lying vacant when years have elapsed. There is no provincial council of the Party in Punjab and Balochistan while office of Central senior vice president is still unfilled after Javed Hashmi had quit the party along with this designation and joined the PTI.

There is no party information secretary in Punjab while offices of additional secretaries, joint secretaries and others at upper and lower level are without elected persons. At the central level, joint secretaries offices are lying vacant.

Sources say the party has set up a committee at the head of Sartaj Aziz to work out plan for streamlining the party and making it more strong and democratic in spirit.

The committee would complete the work and forward recommendations to the party president for approval. No time limit has been fixed for this purpose but hopefully the job will be completed before start of the party elections, sources add.