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Nawaz Sharif Elected Unopposed As PML-N President After 6 Years

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LAHORE: Nawaz Sharif has once again been elected unopposed as the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), marking his return to the top post after more than six years.

No other PML-N leader filed nomination papers against the party supremo, resulting in Nawaz’s papers being approved without contest. This decision follows his nomination as the party head by PML-N members.

Speaking to The Scoop (TS), senior political analyst Khalid Qayyum noted that Nawaz’s return to the PML-N leadership was anticipated. He mentioned that the party decided to reinstate Nawaz as president following the February 8 elections, during which Nawaz had initially intended to run for prime minister if the party had secured a simple majority in the National Assembly.

Qayyum emphasised that the PML-N faces significant challenges in Punjab and it remains to be seen what direction Nawaz will set as the party president.

Earlier sources had told TS that Nawaz would be elected through an internal election, which was rescheduled from early May to May 28, coinciding with Youm-e-Takbir, the day Pakistan responded to India’s nuclear tests in 1998 under Nawaz’s leadership.

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

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

At a news conference on Monday, PML-N Chief Election Commissioner Rana Sanaullah confirmed that party leaders unanimously agreed on Nawaz’s leadership. He noted that Shehbaz Sharif had resigned as party president but continued his responsibilities until Nawaz’s election.

Per the party constitution, the Central Working Committee appointed the election commission, which issued the election timetable. Nomination papers were accepted from 10am to 12pm, examined at 1pm, and the final list prepared by 3pm.

Sanaullah mentioned that unlike other parties such as Jamaat-e-Islami, where the Shura elects the leader, PML-N allows any member to submit nomination papers. He praised Nawaz’s leadership in making Pakistan a nuclear power and his role in transforming PML-N into a party for the average citizen.

He stressed the importance of filling other party positions with different members and highlighted Shehbaz’s significant role, particularly in economic restoration. Sanaullah also mentioned that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi could submit his candidature, which would be scrutinised for eligibility.

Sanaullah emphasised the PML-N’s commitment to dialogue and cooperation between the government and opposition. He expressed hope that PTI’s founder would avoid a fate similar to that of Mujeebur Rahman and underscored the need for dialogue.

Reassuring that Nawaz Sharif harbours no grudges, he highlighted Nawaz’s active involvement in crucial decisions in the federal and Punjab governments. Nawaz’s public statements are expected to become more frequent over time.

No other candidate submitted nomination papers, due to which Nawaz Sharif was elected unopposed.

 

Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi is an award-winning digital, print, and broadcast investigative journalist who is the co-founder of The Scoop. He also hosts his web shows 'The Scoop' and 'The Hassan Naqvi Show'.

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