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Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif set to be re-elected as PML-N president after six years

PML-N Punjab president Rana Sanaullah, while addressing a press conference, hinted that the elder Sharif would be elected without a contest.
Last Updated : 28 May 2024, 08:04 IST
Last Updated : 28 May 2024, 08:04 IST

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Lahore: Three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is set to be re-elected as the President of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party here on Tuesday, six years after losing the post following a Supreme Court ruling in the Panama Papers case.

The Dawn newspaper reported that the General Council meeting is set to take place at a local hotel. It is likely that the 74-year-old veteran politician, who returned to Pakistan in October last year after a four-year self-imposed exile in the UK, will be elected unopposed even though as many as 11 party members have received the nomination papers for the top post, the report said.

The PML-N had earlier announced convening the general council meeting on May 11 but it was postponed to coincide with the celebration of 26 years of Pakistan becoming a nuclear power, the report said.

PML-N Punjab president Rana Sanaullah, while addressing a press conference, hinted that the elder Sharif would be elected without a contest.

Responding to a question if others were contesting against the former premier, Sanaullah said if any party member wanted to contest against him, they should come forward.

When asked why the party didn’t adopt a democratic process to vote for a new president, Sanaullah said the party was a “servant of power corridors and it was Nawaz Sharif who made it a party of the public”. He added that after Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, it was Nawaz Sharif who “made the party vibrant”.

Replying to another question on why Nawaz Sharif wasn’t active in politics after the February 8 general elections, Sanaullah said the former PM is not angry with anyone and he is active in the party. “All major decisions of the party and government are taken by him,” he added.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had earlier this month resigned as the PML-N president citing the “unjust” disqualification of the party supremo and his elder brother Nawaz Sharif from the PM Office.

Shehbaz, 72, said that it was time for the latter to “resume his rightful place as the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party.”

The February 8 general elections had delivered a fractured mandate and the PML-N did not get a clear majority. It joined hands with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led by Bilawal Zardari Bhutto and other smaller parties to form the government at the federal level when Nawaz relinquished the post of prime minister in favour of Shehbaz.

Much before that, in 2017, Nawaz had stepped down as the country's prime minister after the Supreme Court disqualified him for life from holding public office for not declaring a receivable salary.

Following his trial in the Panama Papers case, the apex court, in February 2018, disqualified the PML-N supremo as the party's president.

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Published 28 May 2024, 08:04 IST

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