Pakistan’s Ruling Party Reelects Disqualified Premier as Leader
Islam Times - Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was reelected on Tuesday as leader of the country's ruling party, a day after Pakistan Muslims League (Nawaz group) used its parliamentary majority to amend a law to allow him to retake the job.
The head of election body Jafar Iqbal said Sharif had been elected party president while no one came forward to contest his bid.
Sharif resigned as prime minister in July after the Supreme Court disqualified him for not declaring a source of income. He was also forced to step down as president of PML-N, though he kept control of the party and installed Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a loyalist, as prime minister.
“There have been attempts again and again to exit me, but you will always keep giving me an entry again and again,” Sharif told party workers after his election. “I congratulate that you’re bringing Nawaz Sharif back with full force.”
Parliament amended a law on Monday to enable Sharif to re-take the PML-N leadership. Opposition lawmakers tore up paper copies of the Election Bill 2017, passed by the Senate last week, that allowed Sharif to become the party president again.
The opposition parties have announced that they would challenge the bill and Sharif's re-election in the Supreme Court.
Sharif has appeared before an anti-corruption court in July when he was accused of acting in an untrustworthy manner by failing to declare a salary from his son’s Dubai-based company ahead of the 2013 election. The court also ordered the opening of corruption cases against Sharif and his family members over revelations stemming from the Panama Papers scandal.
Nawaz Sharif is expected to be indicted next Monday in an Islamabad-based anti-corruption court, along with three of his children.
The 67-year-old politician denies any wrongdoing and has alleged there was a conspiracy against him, with senior PML-N figures pointing fingers at elements of Pakistan’s powerful military.
The army denies playing a role.
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