ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday discussed the legal and political repercussions of its intra-party polls that are being held shortly to fulfill a requirement under the Political Parties Order 2002.

The discussion was held in a party meeting held under the leadership of chairman Imran Khan.

The final schedule of the intra-party polls will be finalised within a week and we are just discussing the modus operandi of the election,” said Iftikhar Durrani, head of PTI’s Central Media Department. PTI has recently appointed Senator Azam Khan Swati as the election commissioner of the party for holding intra-party polls. According to PTI, Swati had been tasked to complete the plan of intra-party polls.

We have discussed the legal and political aspects of the intra-party polls as previous such polls that were held shortly before the last general elections had caused many rifts within the party, a PTI leader, who was part of the meeting, said. Because of this reason, the party leadership had faced difficulties to issue party tickets to the candidates for the general elections.

In the first week of April, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a statement said that PTI as a political party could no longer contest election on its symbol ‘bat’ as it failed to hold intra-party election under the Political Parties Order 2002. Imran Khan had claimed more than once in the past that his party would hold genuine intra-party polls contrary to the practice of other political parties of the country, ‘which only carry out such exercise only in documents to meet the requirement of ECP’.

Political observers are of the view that PTI is going to do the same exercise like other political parties.

Separately, Chairman PTI Imran Khan in a statement expressed serious concerns over the “government’s attempt to undermine the autonomous working of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority(NEPRA) by curtailing its powers.” The government has designs to thwart all constitutional restraints, which allow institutions to function in an accountable manner and prevent a government from undermining democratic norms through accumulation of authoritarian powers within the executive, he said. Imran Khan asserted that the government was seeking limitless powers and completely arbitrary authority to do as it pleased, with no checks and balances – neither constitutional nor institutional.

He reminded that earlier the government had sought to undermine NEPRA’s powers by trying to bring it under the control of the Water and Power Ministry but the court blocked that move.

“Now it has used the CCI to undermine NEPRA’s powers. As always, it is the poor power consumers who will suffer as now the government can fleece the consumers as much as it wants,” he added. He expressed regret that the nation would once again be paying the price for the rulers’ corruption and for the incompetence and inefficiencies of the system of power generation and distribution.

He committed that PTI will not accept the systematic destruction of institutions by the PML-N government and would evolve a strategy to ensure that the PML-N does not succeed in its plans to undermine all institutional checks and balances that are an integral part of any functioning democracy. A meeting of Council of Common Interest (CCI) held earlier this week had decided to curtail the powers of NEPRA.