Shahbaz Sharif to be new president of embattled PML-N?

PML-N to make Shehbaz chief today

He is the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, who had to resign as prime minister in July past year in the high-profile Panama Papers scandal.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party also elected Nawaz as "leader for life", in what will be seen as a provocative move and could anger the judiciary after last week's Supreme Court verdict that removed Sharif as party leader.

"PML-N bigwigs on Tuesday, during a meeting called to choose an interim party president, elected Nawaz Sharif as "[the party's] Quaid (leader) for life". Nawaz Sharif had picked Shehbaz Sharif as acting president of the party last day.

Acording to Geo News, Shehbaz Sharif, who is said to be a consensus choice for the top party position, will become permanent president after intra-party elections are held within 45 days.

"Begum Kulsoom would have been the best choice to succeed Nawaz Sharif but since she is not well and is recovering from throat cancer (lymphoma) in London, Shahbaz Sharif has become the ultimate choice although some close to Nawaz have reservations (about him)".

Nawaz Sharif had already put his weight behind his younger brother for performing well in Punjab and keeping the party united by dint of his "exceptional qualities". Shehbaz, who has a formidable reputation as an administrator but is considered less charismatic than Nawaz, is expected to be the party's prime ministerial candidate.

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He said the PML-N can never forget or ignore his efforts.

"So, the party is going ahead with its main candidate for party presidency even for the acting president slot", a source said.

Nawaz Sharif had earlier been declared unfit to hold public office in the landmark Panama Papers judgement, in which a five-member bench of the Supreme Court had unanimously ruled that the former prime minister had not been honest and truthful in discharging his obligations as a lawmaker.

After his disqualification as prime minister, the ruling PML-N amended the Constitution to allow him to retain his chairmanship of the party.

The promotion of Shahbaz Sharif comes after the Supreme Court previous year toppled his elder brother Nawaz following corruption allegations, then last week banned him from leading his eponymous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.

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