PTI puts candidates selection process on hold

LAHORE – Following the deadlock over the delimitations bill, which is yet to be passed by the Senate, the PTI has put the selection process of its candidates on  the hold for the time being.

This was stated by senior PTI leader Aleem Khan in his informal chat with reporters at the Chairman Secretariat on Tuesday.  He said that the process of shortlisting of candidates was almost complete but the final list had not been prepared as yet. “The Parliamentary Board would finalise the candidates keeping in view the new delimitations”, he said.

Aleem Khan, however, confirmed that party chief Imran Khan would be contesting the coming election from NA-122 (Lahore), a National Assembly seat currently held by Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.  Previously Khan was indecisive whether to contest from NA-122 or NA-125, the two constituencies in Lahore having significant support base for the PTI.   In 2013, Imran Khan had secured 84,517 votes as against 93, 389 of Sardar Ayaz Sadiq of the PML-N.

Later, in the by-elections held in October 2015, Aleem Khan of the PTI lost this seat to Sadiq by a small margin of around 2,500 votes. 

He believed that in case the deadlock over delimitations persisted for longer, a decision whether to hold elections on existing delimitations or the new ones would be taken by the Supreme Court.

Answering a question, he said that keeping in view its experience of 2013 elections, the PTI would give priority to the candidates with greater chance of victory. But at the same time, party would also accommodate its ideological workers, mostly in the cities, he added. 

He said that PTI would review the new voter lists to be made public by the Election Commission on December 31st, 2017. “We will challenge the lists in the court if they are not without discrepancies”, he said. 

Talking about the current political situation, Aleem Khan said that Federal and Punjab Governments had lost all their moral credibility to further remain in power. “It is because of this reason that Imran Khan has demanded early elections”, he said, adding, that the PPP and PML-N were opposed to snap polls for fear of defeat. According to him, Nawaz League has entered into a closed alley as it has been entangled into the trap it had prepared for other parties.

He said one family was looting the national exchequer under the garb of democracy. Predicting a bleak future for the Sharif family, he said that they should realise that it was 2013 when they stole peoples mandate through rigging. He said that PTI had prepared its teams in every district to prevent rigging in coming elections.

Aleem also saw more corruption scandals of the present rulers coming to the surface in the near future.

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