Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif speaks during a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood
By Drazen Jorgic
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) party nominated ousted premier Nawaz Sharif as its leader on Monday, a government minister said, hours before it used its parliamentary majority to amend a law to allow him to be re-elected party chief.
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.
The party’s state minister for interior, Talal Chaudhry, said a parliamentary meeting of the ruling party chaired by Abbasi had nominated Sharif as its leader. He said Sharif would be formally re-elected president in a session scheduled for Tuesday. “He will become party president tomorrow, God willing,” Chaudhry said.
Hours later, Pakistan’s parliament amended a law to enable Sharif to re-take PML-N leadership. The amendment bill was presented by law minister Zahid Hamid and passed by lower house with a majority.
“We feel very strongly Nawaz Sharif has to lead our party. He’s the symbol of unity in our party,” said Rana Afzal Khan, a PML-N lawmaker