Report: Behzad Salimi
Lahore (February 21, 2018): The series of discussions about the election of new PML N head have started in PML N ranks as party leadership conducted several informal sessions in Jati Umrah today.
According to the details, former Prime Minister and Party President Nawaz Sharif has started meeting with several leaders including his younger brother Shehbaz to decide the name of next party head.
Sources told Abb Takk News that the crucial meetings have discussed mainly three names Shehbaz Sharif, Kalsoom Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz for the top slot, however final decision will be taken with consensus. Sources informed further that Nawaz Sharif will take all the important decisions as leader and both acting and new party president will follow his instructions.
Informal meeting has also reviewed the name of Sardar Yaqoob Nasir to be given acting charge. The meeting decided to new president’s name will be decided with consensus.
Earlier, ECP wrote a letter to party secretary general Ahsan Iqbal to name the acting head in seven days and elect the party head within 45 days.
Meanwhile ECP also removed the Nawaz Sharif name as party head after receiving detailed supreme court verdict, which disqualified former prime minister to hold any public position including as PML N President.
Earlier, Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan disqualified Nawaz Sharif as president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the verdict regarding petitions against Election Act of 2017.
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The apex court elaborated that a person disqualified under Article 62, 63 of the Constitution can not head the party. Furthermore, as a result of the verdict, all decisions taken by Nawaz as PML-N’s president stand null and void.
While announcing the verdict, the apex court said that a person who doesn’t qualify on Article 62 and 63 of the constitution can also not hold the office of presidency of any political party.
“Ineligible person cannot hold the office of party presidency,” the court said. SC has also annulled all decisions made by Nawaz Sharif as the party head.It added that the tickets for Senate elections issued by him will now be cancelled. The ruling party will now have to re-announce its candidates for the Senate polls that were scheduled for next month.
After hearing the petitions against Election Act of 2017, Supreme Court had reserved its verdict to decide the political fate of Nawaz Sharif.
Earlier today, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar concluded on Thursday the hearing of several petitions against the recently-passed Elections Act 2017.
A three-member bench had been hearing several petitions challenging specific clauses of the act that led to Nawaz Sharif’s appointment as party president following his dismissal as prime minister last year.During today’s hearing, the chief justice remarked that the country’s leadership is respectable, adding that the media misreported the court’s remarks.
Chief Justice Nisar also observed that there is no reason for the apex court to use words like thief, adding that the fallout of the issue is unacceptable.
Addressing the Pakistan Peoples Party counsel Latif Khosa during the hearing, the chief justice remarked that there would be a difference in rallies held by you or [slain party leader and former prime minister] Benazir Bhutto.
Another petitioner’s counsel, Farogh Naseem, argued that there is a precedent of a court order against a political party’s head.
The chief justice remarked that in other countries intra-party elections are held but the situation is different in Pakistan.
“The party head is an important position,” the chief justice observed, adding that in Pakistan people are willing to sacrifice their lives for their leaders.
Following Nawaz’s disqualification as prime minister in July 2017 in the Panama Papers case, the ruling party managed to amend the Constitution to allow the former premier to retain his chairmanship of the PML-N.As a result, the Elections Act 2017 was passed by Parliament bringing Nawaz back as the party president despite his disqualification from the National Assembly.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid, MNA Jamshaid Dasti, National Party and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), among others, challenged the law for allowing a disqualified parliamentarian to become a party head.
The petitions, challenging specific clauses of the Elections Act 2017, state that Nawaz’s appointment as party president is in violation of Clause 5 of the Political Parties Order 2002 and Article 17 of the Constitution.In January 2018, SC had accepted petitions the petitions for hearing against the Election Act of 2017. These petitions were submitted by Awami Muslim League (AML), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and other political parties as well as groups of lawyers.
“The bill was passed in the NA by the vote of all parties and can only be annulled if is contradictory to basic rights,” CJP had remarked in one of the hearing.
CJP led the three-member bench to hear the petitions.The approval of Electoral Reforms Bill 2017 had paved way for sacked premier Nawaz Sharif to become president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). It was passed from both houses of parliament despite the bone of contention being its Section 203 which allowed the ex-PM to hold office as PML-N president.
Top court disqualified Nawaz from premiership
In July 2017, the top court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif from premiership in connection with Panama Papers case under Article 62. The five-judge larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan unanimously announced the decision in courtroom No 1.
PM Nawaz is no more truthful and honest as he failed to prove his assets of 2013, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan told the packed courtroom.