Nawaz Sharif reclaims PML-N presidency, says he stands vindicated after six years

Nawaz Sharif reclaims PML-N presidency, says he stands vindicated after six years


The former PM is elected PML-N president unopposed

  • Defiant Nawaz says then chief justice Saqib Nisar's decision has been discarded today
  • PM Shehbaz accuses Imran Khan of orchestrating rigging in 2018 elections
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LAHORE (Dunya News) – Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been elected the president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) unopposed in the party’s general council meeting held on Tuesday. 

Sharif has become the party head after six years as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stepped down from the position on May 11. 

Addressing the general council meeting, Nawaz Sharif allowed the charged crowd to celebrate his return as party president. He said his elevation as party president 'discarded' the former chief justice Saqib Nisar’s decision of ousting him from the Prime Minister Office. 

“Summon those who declared Nawaz disqualified for life. Today, Nawaz stands before you once more. Why was that decision made? Because Nawaz didn’t take a salary from his son?” 

Nawaz praised his party workers and brother for their loyalty to the party through crunch times. He accused various forces of attempting to sow discord between him, his brother, and PML-N supporters. 

The PML-N president revealed that years ago, his brother was offered the prime minister’s position on the condition that he sidelined Nawaz, but the younger Sharif refused. 

Shehbaz Sharif's address 

Addressing the general council meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif congratulated his brother on resuming the party presidency. 

“The injustice done to you in 2017… God has restored you to your former position and respect with a great majority.” 

The prime minister asserted that his brother was disqualified through baseless cases, and even opponents had to acknowledge the injustice faced by Nawaz Sharif. 

Shehbaz directly accused PTI founder Imran Khan of orchestrating the alleged rigging of the 2018 general election, stating that “Nawaz’s election victory was turned into a defeat.” 

The prime minister lashed out at PTI founder Imran Khan for allegedly attacking the army leadership.

Rana Sanaullah 

Earlier, PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah detailed the party’s electoral procedures at the general council meeting. 

He said Shehbaz had resigned as PML-N president on May 11. He recalled that Shehbaz’s resignation was accepted during a central working committee meeting on May 18, and he was asked to continue in the role until the election. 

Ouster of Nawaz Sharif 

Nawaz Sharif had stepped down as the president of the PML-N six years ago due to a Supreme Court ruling in the Panama Papers case disqualifying him as the country’s prime minister in 2017. 

The following year, the then chief justice of Pakistan, Mian Saqib Nisar, ruled that an individual disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution could not serve as the head of a political party. 

According to sources in the PML-N, 11 party members had received nomination papers for the top position.  

The PML-N had formed a five-member election commission led by PML-N Punjab chapter President Rana Sanaullah and comprising Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Ishrat Ashraf, Jamal Shah Kakar, and Khayal Das Kohistani to conduct the election for the top slot. 

As per the schedule, the nomination papers from the candidates were to be received between 10am and 12 noon, with their scrutiny scheduled between 1pm and 2pm and the polling around 4pm. 

Initially, the PML-N had announced the convening of the general council meeting for May 11, but later it was postponed to coincide with the 26th anniversary celebrations of Youm-e-Takbeer.

On Monday, Rana Sanaullah announced at a press conference that the party's general council would conduct the election for the new party president on Tuesday.

Sanaullah also clarified that decisions regarding the party's fundamental matters would not be made without Nawaz Sharif's involvement or in his absence.

He said the entire PML-N unanimously wanted Nawaz Sharif to lead the party. 

Sanaullah said Nawaz Sharif harboured no grievances against anyone, adding that party leader Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi was eligible to submit papers for the party presidency, with their eligibility determined through scrutiny.


Earlier in April, the Punjab chapter of PML-N had passed a unanimous resolution a couple of days ago requesting the elder Sharif to lead the party once again.

“Mian Nawaz Sharif ceased to be the president of the PML-N as the result of a controversial judicial order. All obstacles of suppression are over and he stands vindicated. The PML-N will move forward under his leadership,” PML-N Punjab president Rana Sanaullah had said after the passage of the resolution.

“Nawaz Sharif had been requested to reassume the charge of the PML-N,” he had said.

He had added that the former prime minister had been forcibly separated from the party in 2017.