LAHORE: The PTI leadership is facing serious differences over the important issue of deciding the fate of structure for the new intra-party polls, insiders told The Nation yesterday.

However, the party’s Punjab Election Commissioner Ijaz Minhas insisted: “The matter will be resolved in a week.”

There are four proposals pending with the party’s high command concerning the structure for the new polls suggested by the leaders to Chief Election Commissioner Tasneem Noorani, Chairman Imran Khan and his close aides, say the insiders.

The first proposal is to hold direct elections in six tiers on all seats, starting from union council, followed by towns, districts, regions, provinces and the centre. The second suggestion is to hold direct polls in four tiers starting from districts followed by regions, provinces and the centre.

The third idea is to conduct these elections on popular basis, which consists of six tiers, starting from union council followed by towns, districts regions, provinces and the centre. This type of intra-party polls structure means the candidate who gets maximum number of votes will become president, followed by general secretary and other office bearers.

But the party’s top leadership has suggested the internal polls only for the slot of district, regional, provincial and central president who will select their teams on the remaining offices. The party’s chief election commissioner has locked horns with the chairman and his close aides, insisting on adopting the first formula to make the new polls a real democratic exercise, said the insiders.

“There is no doubt that the first proposal would reflect the real democratic picture of the new party polls. But all the suggestions are under discussion and the party would choose one of the formulae most likely in a week. The proposal the party adopts would be the most doable formula to hold such a large electoral process following the electronic voting through short message service (SMS),” explained Minhas, while replying to the insiders’ information.

The PTI Punjab election commissioner rejected the reports relating to the likely resignation of Tasneem Noorani when asked he had a serious row with the party chairman over the structural formula for the internal elections and had hinted at tendering resignation among his inner circle.

First intra-party polls of PTI were held in 2013, but its organizations were dissolved by Imran Khan in May 2015, following the recommendations of Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed commission formed to probe rigging in the internal elections.

“Direct elections must be conducted for all six tiers, starting from basic tier of union council. Electronic voting is a difficult proposition for the rural areas where the masses are less literate or completely illiterate,” said former PTI Punjab president Ijaz Chaudhry in an interview to the paper.

Justice (r) Wajih said, “The most important step to hold the fresh intra-party polls is to cleanse the voter lists of bogus votes. The other measure to conduct fair elections is that the process must be held through balloting at polling stations and not through electronic vote.”

“In the last party polls, there were 7.2 million members that included personal servants and disciples of peers and feudalists, who could never vote against the wishes of their masters. The election should be held according to the old lists after cleansing it of fake voters,” he suggested.

“I do not believe voting through SMS (electronic balloting) will be foolproof. This process had already become a source of stealing votes during the first party polls in 2013. Under the party constitution, electronic voting process cannot be applied to all tiers of balloting. It will be violation of the party constitution if the elections are held only for the slot of president,” said PTI leader Hamid Khan in a chat on the issue.