Home Global Village Shehbaz Sharif elected as the new PML-N president

Shehbaz Sharif elected as the new PML-N president

Shehbaz Sharif
  • 516
    Shares

News Analysis |

Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shehbaz Sharif has been elected as the next party chief of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) by the party’s Central Working Committee (CWC) on Tuesday. The meeting was headed by PML-N’s chairman Raja Zafarul Haq. To remove any technical issues, only those CWC members elected before the 28th July Supreme Court (SC) verdict took part in the meeting. PML-N also appointed Nawaz Sharif as the ‘Quaid for life.’

On 21st February, the SC disqualified the former premier Nawaz Sharif as the head of the PML-N and declared all his decisions as the party head null and void. Nawaz had earlier been disqualified as the Prime Minister of Pakistan under the Article 62(1)(f) of the constitution. SC declared that according to Article 63(A), the president of a party has control over the decisions of its party’s parliamentarians and a person not fit to sit in the parliament cannot control the decisions of other parliamentarians.

Shehbaz had waited his whole life to finally become the leader of the party; political analysts believe that he will not throw it away for a lost cause. Other PML-N leaders are also unlikely to put their political careers on the line for Nawaz so it is safe to believe that the PML-N belongs to Shehbaz now.

According to ECP rules, a party has to nominate its acting president within 7 days if the former president has resigned or been disqualified and a permanent president within 30 days. The CWC has the authority to elect the party president but a technical issue was created since the CWC and Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the PML-N were reconstituted by Nawaz Sharif in December and the SC had declared all his decisions after the 28th July decision as null and void.

Read more: Astrologers claim Shehbaz, not Imran will be Prime Minister in 2018

The party leadership worked around this technical issue and chose the CWC before the 28th July verdict. The Information Secretary of PML-N Mushahidullah Khan and Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb had already announced the meeting a day earlier. Sources within PML-N had reported to the media that Shehbaz Sharif had the support of all the senior leadership and Nawaz Sharif had also given a nod to him.

Shehbaz Sharif’s leadership is expected to bring major changes into PML-N. Nawaz Sharif had started an anti-judiciary and anti-military campaign after his disqualification by the SC and a number of PML-N members accompanied him. On the other hand, Shehbaz Sharif constantly maintained that a clash of institutions was not favourable for democracy and the judiciary should be respected.

The party still carries his name and cannot win without his support in the general elections. It is important for PML-N to keep Nawaz at the front and send the message of solidarity.

Some speculate that Shehbaz’s restraint was limited only to the cases where his brother was targeted and would act otherwise if the courts chose to target him. Shehbaz is believed to have the support of the establishment and the Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had also remarked that Shehbaz would make a good Prime Minister so political analysts believe that Shehbaz will take PML-N on the back foot and discipline members for speaking against the judiciary.

Media reports suggest that Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of Nawaz Sharif, was the first choice of PML-N but since she’s suffering from throat cancer and under treatment in the UK, the party was left with no other choice but Shehbaz. It is reported that Shehbaz enjoys immense popularity in the public and among PML-N circles for his superior performance as the chief minister Punjab compared to his counterparts in the other provinces.

Read more: Shehbaz Sharif delivers angry speech after NAB hearing

The position of Nawaz Sharif seems unclear in the party. Some political analysts believe that Nawaz’s political career has ended since he cannot contest in the elections nor hold office within his party, the two prerequisites for being a politician. The only power that Nawaz Sharif has is public support. The party still carries his name and cannot win without his support in the general elections. It is important for PML-N to keep Nawaz at the front and send the message of solidarity.

The CWC has the authority to elect the party president but a technical issue was created since the CWC and Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the PML-N were reconstituted by Nawaz Sharif in December and the SC had declared all his decisions after the 28th July decision as null and void.

Shehbaz Sharif is expected to pay lip service to Nawaz till the elections but as soon as PML-N wins the elections, Nawaz will be sidelined. Political experts believe that politics is based on interests, not sentiments, since Nawaz has nothing left to offer to the party, PML-N might not carry his dead weight for long. The major question on everyone’s mind is that will PML-N bring an amendment to reduce the power of the judiciary and restore Nawaz?

Read more: Shehbaz Sharif most likely to be new PML-N president

If PML-N brings an amendment to dissolve the SC, it would lead to serious institutional confrontation and might put democracy and the future of PML-N itself on the line. Shehbaz had waited his whole life to finally become the leader of the party; political analysts believe that he will not throw it away for a lost cause. Other PML-N leaders are also unlikely to put their political careers on the line for Nawaz so it is safe to believe that the PML-N belongs to Shehbaz now.


  • 516
    Shares

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here