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PML-N elects Shehbaz Sharif as interim party president


IANS Islamabad
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday appointed Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif as its acting president while former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was named the party's "Quaid (leader) for life".
The announcement was made in PML-N's Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting in Lahore which was presided over by Nawaz Sharif. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the former Prime Minister's daughter Maryam Nawaz and the Punjab Chief Minister's son Hamza Shehbaz were also present, Geo News reported.
Shehbaz Sharif, said to be a consensus choice for the top party position, would become permanent president after intra-party elections are held within 45 days, the report said.
Nawaz Sharif put his weight behind his younger brother for performing well in Punjab and keeping the party united by dint of his "exceptional qualities".
Soon after the decision was taken, Maryam Nawaz tweeted a picture of her father and uncle embracing one another.
"We are Alhamdolilah ONE. We stand united. PML-N stands united," she tweeted.
Meanwhile, the proposal to elect Nawaz Sharif as "Quaid" of the party for life was pitched by PML-N Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq, Abbasi and Shehbaz Sharif.
The office of the party president fell vacant last week after the Supreme Court revoked clause 203 of the Election Act, 2017, holding Nawaz Sharif "ineligible" to retain the PML-N presidency owing to his disqualification on July 28 as the Prime Minister as well as a member of the Parliament in the so-called Panama Papers scandal.
According to Dawn newspaper, the top court ruling had rendered all decisions Nawaz Sharif had taken in the capacity of the party chief as "null and void".
This raises a question mark over the legal status of PML-N's CWC, which has 109 members nominated by the former Prime Minister while he was party president.
However, the PML-N's Information Secretary said that only those CWC members who were elected before the July 28 decision had been called for Tuesday's meeting.

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First Published: Feb 27 2018 | 3:36 PM IST

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