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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Pakistan: Barrister Gohar Khan reelected as Imran Khan's party chairman

Gohar was elected unopposed, becoming the only leader to have been elected to the post twice in the party

PTI Islamabad Published 01.03.24, 01:16 PM
Gohar Khan

Gohar Khan File picture

Jailed former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan's party has announced Barrister Gohar Khan's election for the chairman's post for a second time after the withdrawal of all other candidates from the organisational polls.

The 71-year-old former-cricketer-turned-politician Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was scheduled to hold fresh organisational polls on March 3 after the result of its earlier intra-party election was annulled by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

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Barrister Gohar, 45, was on Thursday elected as the party's chairman unopposed, becoming the only leader to have been elected to the post twice in the party, Geo News reported.

The PTI's candidate for the prime minister's slot, Omar Ayub Khan, was also elected unopposed as the party’s central general secretary, the party announced late on Thursday.

Dr Yasmin Rashid, Ali Amin Gandapur, and Haleem Adil Sheikh were elected unopposed to the positions of the party’s presidents for Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Sindh, respectively, as no candidate contested against them.

Several party leaders had submitted their nomination papers as panels for the intra-party polls, but a majority of them withdrew only two days before the organisational election, the PTI’s Federal Election Commissioner Raoof Hasan told the Dawn newspaper.

Hasan said that he had no option but to announce the unopposed winners in the absence of opponents on most seats.

The former ruling party will organise an organisational poll in Quetta for the Balochistan president’s post.

“The final result of the election will, however, be declared by the Federal Election Commissioner on March 3, 2024, after the election process,” read a statement by the party.

The party's top post had been lying vacant after the ECP and the Supreme Court declared its intra-party elections conducted in December last year unlawful.

The PTI held the organisational polls in December on the directions of the ECP. However, its result, which some disgruntled PTI workers challenged, was annulled after a bitter court battle.

Subsequently, the party was deprived of its iconic cricket bat symbol by the top electoral body, and Gohar, who became the chairman after those elections, was no longer the party head.

Earlier, Barrister Ali Zafar was announced as the party's next chairman nominee. However, he refused to accept the chairmanship, and subsequently, the former ruling party nominated Gohar for the top position.

The PTI-backed independents won majority seats at the 266-member National Assembly in the February 8 general election.

However, the PML-N and the PPP have agreed on a power-sharing deal to form a new coalition government, which may effectively end Khan's chances of returning to power.

Khan's party has rejected the attempts by the PML-N and the PPP to form a coalition government, warning that robbing its public endorsement by the "mandate thieves" will result in the worst political instability.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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