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PML(N) elects Nawaz Sharif ‘leader for life’

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif. File photo.   | Photo Credit: AP

Pakistan's ruling party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) on Tuesday elected former prime minister Nawaz Sharif as its ‘leader for life’ days after the Supreme Court disqualified him as party head. The party nominated Sharif's younger brother Shahbaz Sharif for the post of acting President of the party. Shahbaz Sharif is currently the chief minister of the country's biggest province, Punjab.

“PML-N elects Nawaz as its Quaid for life. Raja Zafarul Haq, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s proposal elicited a resounding approval from the CWC,” Nawaz’s daughter Maryam tweeted. Incumbent prime minister Shahid Khanqan Abbasi and other leaders of the party endorsed the decision.

Although there is no provision for the post of 'quaid' in the party, the Central Working Committee of the PML(N) created this post for Sharif. The post is ceremonial but many in the party insist that Nawaz Sharif remain the leader of the party and that no decision be taken without his approval.

Supreme Court disqualified Sharif as PML(N) leader in a judgment that referred to his earlier disqualification as prime minister by the apex court in July last year and ruled that Sharif cannot hold the party office. The apex court also declared all orders by Sharif as null and void. Sharif criticized his disqualification by terming it a conspiracy against him.

As a consequence, all nominees by PML(N) for the upcoming March 3 Senate elections were declared as independents. PML(N) criticised the controversial ruling by the Election Commission alleging that country's biggest party had been thrown out of the Senate elections in violation of law and constitution. Sharif's nominees are expected to rejoin party after being elected as independents. PML(N) is still expected to emerge as the biggest party in Senate.

PTI adds...

PML-N’s information secretary Senator Mushahidullah Khan told PTI there was no candidate for the slot of interim president of PML-N other than Shahbaz Sharif.

“Nawaz proposed Shahbaz’s name for the party’s interim president and all more than 100 CWC members approved his name unanimously. Shahbaz will continue as the party’s full-time president after the general council elects him in a meeting in Islamabad next month,” he said.

Under the party’s rules, the PML-N’s CWC is supposed to elect an acting party head within a week of its chief’s removal. Then the party’s general council is required to elect a president within 45 days. Nawaz was removed from the post of PML-N president by the apex court on February 22.

After becoming the party president, Shahbaz praised his elder brother for making the PML-N the country’s most popular political force. “I will try my best to come up to the expectations of my party after assuming this responsibility,” he said.

Nawaz has already nominated Shahbaz for the prime minister candidate if PML-N wins this year’s general elections.


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 7:21:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistan-ex-pm-nawaz-sharif-elected-pmlns-leader-for-life/article22868110.ece

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