Shehbaz Sharif elected as acting president of PML-N

Shehbaz Sharif elected as acting president of PML-N

The Punjab post fell vacant after the promotion of Shahbaz Sharif who has held it for many years.

The sources said that reports of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif emerging as a consensus candidate for the slot proved wrong and at the meeting at Punjab House Islamabad a few days back, where the issue came up for discussion, a sizeable people came up with the suggestion to elect Kulsoom Nawaz as the new party chief. He is the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, who had to resign as prime minister in July a year ago in the high-profile Panama Papers scandal.

Although there is no provision for the post of "quaid" in the party, the Central Working Committee of the PML (N) created this post for Sharif.

Mr Sharif is also being tried by a separate anti-corruption court on other charges - proceedings ordered by the Supreme Court last July - and could face jail when that trial winds up as soon as next month.

The country's ruling party, however, named Nawaz Sharif the "leader for life".

As a outcome, Senate tickets distributed by Nawaz also stand null and void, further casting doubt whether Senate elections will be held on March 3.

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As a outcome, all nominees by PML (N) for the upcoming March 3 Senate elections were declared as independents.

"PMLN elects Nawaz Sharif as its QUAID for life". Shehbaz, who has a formidable reputation as an administrator but is considered less charismatic than Nawaz, is expected to be the party's prime ministerial candidate.

In the meeting, Nawaz proposed the name of Shahbaz for the party's interim president which was unanimously approved by the CWC.

Under the party's rules, the PML-N's CWC is supposed to elect an acting party head within a week of its chief's removal. The court order overturned a legal amendment by party lawmakers allowing Sharif to stay party president despite being disqualified from public office by the Supreme Court for failing to declare monthly income of 10,000 Emirati dirham ($2,723) from a company owned by his son.

After becoming the party president, Shahbaz praised his elder brother for making the PML-N the country's most popular political force. Though attempts are already being made to target Mian Shahbaz Sharif as he is seen as the strongman of the party and that is why sudden activation of NAB in Punjab and arrest of his close aides to cause maximum harm to the party ahead of general election.

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