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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Nawaz Sharif set to reclaim leadership of PML-N on Youm-e-Takbir

The News, party sources indicated that Nawaz would be elected through a party election, which was rescheduled from the second week of May to May 28, coinciding with Youm-e-Takbir.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is poised to become the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) again, after a hiatus of over six years. According to The News, party sources indicated that Nawaz would be elected through a party election, which was rescheduled from the second week of May to May 28, coinciding with Youm-e-Takbir. This day commemorates Pakistan’s response to India’s nuclear tests in 1998, during Nawaz’s tenure as prime minister.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif declared May 28, 2024, a public holiday via a notification on Monday.

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On July 28, 2017, Nawaz was removed from both the prime minister’s office and the presidency of PML-N due to the Panama Papers ruling. Since then, the party has rallied around the slogan “Mujhy Kyun Nikala” (Why was I removed?).

At a Monday news conference, PML-N Chief Election Commissioner Rana Sanaullah stated that party leaders unanimously agreed Nawaz should lead the party. Shehbaz had resigned as party president but was authorized by the Central Working Committee to continue his duties until a new leader was elected.

Sanaullah explained that, according to the party’s constitution, the election commission was appointed by the Central Working Committee, which also issued the election timetable. Nomination papers would be accepted from 10 am to 12 pm, examined at 1 pm, and the final list prepared by 3 pm. The PML-N central council meeting was scheduled for 4 pm. Any party member could submit nomination papers.

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Sanaullah contrasted PML-N’s election procedures with those of Jamaat-e-Islami, where the Shura elected the ameer, emphasizing he had no issue with Jamaat-e-Islami’s method. He praised Nawaz’s leadership, particularly in making Pakistan a nuclear power and transforming PML-N into a party for the common man. Nawaz had always been involved in major party decisions and would continue to be so.

He mentioned that other party positions should be filled by various members, with Shehbaz remaining a significant leader noted for his economic restoration efforts. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi could also submit his nomination papers, which would be reviewed for eligibility.

Sanaullah emphasized PML-N’s commitment to dialogue and cooperation between the government and the opposition, expressing hope that PTI’s founder would not meet a fate similar to Mujeebur Rahman. He reassured that Nawaz was not angry with anyone and remained actively involved, with his input crucial to decisions in the federal and Punjab governments. Nawaz’s public statements were expected to become more frequent.

If no other candidate submits nomination papers, Nawaz will be elected unopposed. Otherwise, the election will be decided by a show of hands. In addition to the election of the party president, the PML-N meeting will discuss various resolutions to be presented to the general council.