Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif was re-elected on Tuesday as president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
According to Express News, Nawaz was elected as the party leader unopposed as no one filed nomination papers for the candidacy against him in the intra-party elections.
The development came only a day after President Mamnoon Hussain signed a controversial election bill, allowing a disqualified premier to be elected as party chief. The Election Bill, 2017, commonly known as Electoral Reforms Bill was approved by the Senate and subsequently signed into law by the president late Monday night.
A controversial clause in the bill allows disqualified politicians to hold a public office or to lead a political party. Section 203 of the Electoral Reforms Bill 2017 allows every citizen, except for government servants, to form a political party or become its office-bearer.
The bill seeks to augment eight sets of laws governing the electoral process in Pakistan including the Political Parties Order (PPO) 2002. According to PPO, Nawaz Sharif had to step down as PML-N chief after his disqualification by the Supreme Court in the Panamagate case.
Incensed by the government move, opposition parties had torn up copies of the bill after it was moved by Law Minister Zahid Hamid in Parliament on Monday. Opposition lawmakers, especially those from Imran Khan’s PTI, chanted slogans against Sharif and his family. They gathered around the podium of Speaker Ayaz Sadiq where they shouted slogans for some time.