The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday announced that Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain would continue to hold the party's presidential position.
The ECP announced its verdict in a petition filed by the former prime minister amid an ongoing tussle with his cousin Parvez Elahi over the party leadership.
Elahi, the former chief minister of Punjab, had orchestrated the removal of Shujaat as party president.
On August 18, the electoral body reserved its verdict on a petition filed by Shujaat against his removal as president of PML-Q through an intra-party election by his party in July.
Reacting to the development, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb congratulated Shujaat Hussain for his legal victory.
"The fascist mindset which tried to take away PML-Q from him was defeated. The order of the Election Commission is a message that the decisions will now be made in the light of the Constitution and the law, not in the fog of Daska," the minister said, in a reference to the disappearance of poll officials during a by-election in Punjab.
The fault lines in the party became visible when Shujaat refused to support Elahi during the Punjab chief minister's election, saying that he would not back PTI Chairperson Imran Khan's candidate — even if it was his brother.
As a result, Elahi lost the election to PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz by 10 votes as they were rejected following Shujaat's letter to former deputy speaker Dost Mazari.
But Hamza's victory was short-lived as the Supreme Court declared Elahi as the new chief minister of Punjab.
Following these developments, the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the PML-Q decided to remove party president Shujaat from office, citing health issues.
“It has become necessary to isolate Shujaat to save the party from destruction,” said Senator Kamil Ali Agha.
However, in August last year, the PML-Q's Central Executive Committee reposed confidence in the leadership of Shujaat and decided to send a show-cause notice to Senator Agha and others for holding an "illegal meeting" in Lahore.
The party’s provincial presidents disassociated themselves from the Lahore meeting and condemned the illegal dismissal of Shujat and Tariq BashirCheema. The meeting passed a resolution unanimously to express confidence in the leadership of Shujaat.
It was decided in the meeting that a legal team would be consulted to challenge the illegal move of the PML-Q Punjab chapter as it was not authorised to convene a meeting.
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