ECP declares Shujaat as PML-Q president

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday declared that PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain would remain the president of the party months after he was stripped of the position following widening rifts with his cousin Pervaiz Elahi

A five-member bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, in its reserved verdict rejected the PML-Q central working committee's ‘illegal’ move to remove Shujaat from the party presidency, while declaring it null and void

The election watchdog further ruled that the elections announced by the central committee were also null and void

Shujaat was removed by the party after a letter from him directing party MPAs to cast their votes in favour of Hamza Shehbaz against Elahi, had turned the tide in the chief minister’s election

Turning on the PML-Q chief, the members of the central working committee unanimously decided that the PML-Q chief was unable to take ‘prudent’ decisions owing to his ill health and was therefore being removed from his post

The party elected Wajahat Hussain as its central president, formally ending the 19-year rule of his brother Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain, while retaining Elahi as the party’s Punjab president

The council had also removed Shujaat’s close aide Tariq Bashir Cheema and elected Kamil Ali Agha as the central secretary general of the party

Cracks in the PML-Q ranks first appeared in March last year around the time of a no-confidence motion against former premier Imran Khan after Elahi threw weight behind the PTI camp, while Shujaat Hussain joined the then-opposition led by PDM parties

The discord – triggered by Elahi’s decision to throw weight behind PTI against the PDM government – has split the party into two camps

‘Blow to PTI-PML-Q merger’ Meanwhile, sources said the ECP's decision to declare Shujaat as the party president has potentially dealt a blow to Parvez Elahi’s purported plans to merge his Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf heading into the coming polls

The former chief minister of Punjab – who ruled the province thanks to his alliance with PTI – has been eyeing 10 seats in the National Assembly and 30 seats in the provincial assembly in return for a successful electoral coalition and merger with the Imran Khan-led former ruling party

Earlier this month, Shujaat Hussain had served a show-cause notice on Elahi and also suspended his party membership

The show-cause notice stated that the meeting took “strict notice” of Mr Elahi’s comments regarding the party’s possible merger with the PTI

“An explanation of your [Parvez Elahi’s] unconstitutional and illegal action has been sought,” it read

The notice said the PML-Q, as a political party, has its own identity, vote bank, party discipline and manifesto — which were all violated by Mr Elahi’s comments

Date:22-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link