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February 26, 2018

Shahbaz to be N-League interim president

Top Story

February 26, 2018

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is going to be elected as an ‘interim/ acting’ president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the meeting of party’s Central Working Committee, to be held on Tuesday, The News has learnt.

Former premier and the PML-N ex-president Nawaz Sharif informed Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif about the party decision in a meeting, held at former’s Jati Umra residence, on Sunday. The agreement over the decision of handing the party presidency to the younger Sharif was taken in the party meeting, held on Feb 22, as certain factors merited that he (Shahbaz) should be made an interim/ acting party president for now.

As per the procedure, the president is elected by the party’s general council. This council comprises all members of National and provincial assemblies, associated with the party.

According to the election commission rules, party’s electoral college/ general council has to elect the party president within 40 days. However, while the rules merit the appointment of the party president to be elected within seven days, it also allows for the interim/ acting president to be elected by the Central Working Committee (CWC) within seven days for a limited period of time.

With the Senate elections are being held in one week, the party is currently in the process of organising its voting strategies with a significant number of members of the electoral college busy in the process. The party, therefore, has decided to go ahead with appointing Shahbaz as an interim president for two major reasons.

Firstly, it would be virtually impossible for the party to congregate the electoral college within seven days (before the Senate elections), as its membership is in thousands. Secondly, trying to hold the party’s general council of electoral college would prove to be highly disruptive of the party organisation currently being done vis-à-vis the Senate polls.

Therefore, the relatively easy and undisruptive task of managing to complete the quorum of the CWC (which is between 90 to 100 members) will be held on Tuesday to elect the interim president for the PML-N. The meeting of the electoral college to vote Shahbaz as the formal president of PML-N will be held post-Senate elections, before the 40 days deadline expires.

Moayyed Jafri adds: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif met his brother and former premier Nawaz Sharif at Jati Umra for a tête-à-tête on Sunday.

They discussed Senate elections, court verdicts and NAB action, rapidly evolving situation in the national, regional and global politics as well as party matters requiring urgent attention. A wide range of matters were discussed in the meeting. According to sources the Senate election intricacies, approach to deal with the politicization of non-partisan bureaucracy, party strategy to go to the 2018 general elections, intra-party issues, the NAB references and the intensity of narrative vis-à-vis PML-N mass contact campaign were discussed.

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