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Thursday June 20, 2024

Nawaz holds control of PMLN for third time

Nawaz led the PMLN in the 1993 election and his party was allotted the symbol of tiger

By Faizan Bangash
May 29, 2024
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif congratulates former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on being elected unopposed as President of PML-N in Lahore on May 28, 2024. — INP
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif congratulates former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on being elected unopposed as President of PML-N in Lahore on May 28, 2024. — INP    

LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has assumed the office of PMLN president for the third time since the party was founded by him in 1993.

Nawaz has served as prime minister for three terms and now is also the head of his party for the third term. Javaid Hashmi and Shehbaz Sharif have served as PMLN president during times when either Nawaz was in exile or convicted by the court for holding the party office. In 1993, Nawaz founded his own faction of Muslim League. Nawaz led the PMLN in the 1993 election and his party was allotted the symbol of tiger. The PMLN got nearly 80 National Assembly seats in the 1993 general elections but was unable to form government as the PPP, with a support of more than 120 MNAs, came to power with Benazir Bhutto as prime minister.

In Punjab as well, the PMLN remained marginally short of the required number to form government and the PPP and the PMLJ formed a coalition government with Manzoor Wattoo and later Arif Nakai as chief minister. In 1997, the PMLN led by Nawaz had a landslide victory and Nawaz became PM with more than a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly. As a result of the October 12, 1999 coup, Nawaz had to lose his prime ministership and later after conviction lost the PMLN headship. In 2000, Nawaz, along with his family, left for Jeddah after a deal. Between 2008 and 2010, the PMLN was headed by Javaid Hashmi, whereas Raja Zafarul Haq served as its chairman. After all cases against Nawaz were cleared, he once again assumed the office of PMLN president for the second time and led the PMLN in the 2013 general elections that it won with a landslide.

Nawaz became prime minister and held the office till 2017 when he was sent home by a court order. Later, he was also removed from the party office through a court decision. In 2018, Shehbaz became PMLN president. He led the PMLN in the 2018 and 2024 general elections. The PMLN was able to win the 2024 polls amid high controversy. Both Nawaz and Shehbaz have led the PMLN to victory in different general elections as party president.