PTI to use social media network for election

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has decided to capitalise on its strong social media network to remain in touch with its supporters in addition to setting up a portal featuring the party’s candidates alongside their electoral symbols for Feb 8 polls, after it was deprived of its electoral symbol Bat by the Election Commission.

In a statement on ‘X’, formerly Twitter, the former ruling party said a portal to search for candidates and their symbols had been created. “See video below showing a search for ‘NA-1’ and the results with candidate name and symbol. We are just waiting for data for each candidate before we go live! #ChallengeAccepted,” the tweet read.

PTI Information Secretary Raoof Hasan said the portal would be fully functional within two days. “There will be two separate portals for the National and provincial assemblies. We will share the links of these portals through social media sites and our voters will be able to identify the national and provincial assembly candidates backed by the PTI for their constituencies,” he told Dawn.

Mr Hasan said that voters will only need to enter the number of a constituency in the portal and the candidate supported by the PTI along with the symbol will pop up.

A day earlier, the Election Commission of Pakistan allotted separate symbols to PTI candidates, instead of the ‘bat’, after the Supreme Court upheld an ECP ruling stripping the PTI of its electoral symbol on Saturday night.

Since the PTI candidates do not have a joint platform to contest elections, this portal will facilitate them to identify the nominees contesting elections with the backing of the PTI.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the PTI had remained in power for two consecutive terms, the Imran-led party has decided to use its social media network and a door-to-door campaign to inform its voters.

“The PTI has nominated candidates for each national and provincial assembly’s seat in the province, who have been allotted different election symbols by the ECP,” Ikram Khatana, the social media head of PTI’s KP chapter said.

According to the PTI leader, they will approach the masses through popular social media platforms to seek votes for the PTI candidates and also inform them about the name and symbol of each candidate vying for the national and provincial seats. “The workers would record short videos of the corner meetings, workers’ conventions, rallies and other activities related to the election campaign which would be then shared on the social media in the respective constituencies,” Mr Khatana said.

“Keeping in view the popularity of social media, it will only take a few hours to communicate to the masses, particularly the PTI voters, about the symbols allotted to the PTI-backed candidates in each constituency,” he said.

Mr Khatana further said that WhatsApp groups have already been formed on the local level for the effective communication of the party messages regarding the elections.

Hassan Khan, a party worker and resident of Kohat Road, said that they will use social media platforms to inform the masses about the PTI’s nominated candidates and the symbols allotted to them to remove any confusion.

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