Islamabad, August 9: The Election Commission of Pakistan today issued a notice to the ruling Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) asking it to appoint a new leader to replace Nawaz Sharif as its chief. The Commission said he cannot lead the party after disqualification under the Political Parties Order 2002.
The ECP also observed that Article 15 of the PML-N's own party constitution says that if the seat of party president is vacant, it is to be filled within one week's time. The election body asked the PML-N to elect a new party leader and then inform the ECP.
Shortly after the ECP's notification was issued, DawnNews reported that the PML-N was holding a high-level meeting of senior party members, including Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar.
The former Prime Minister Sharif stepped down last month after the Supreme Court disqualified him for not disclosing his assets. Apex Court disqualified Sharif from office for not being honest and concealing assets. The probe against him began after his children were named in the leaked so-called Panama papers for owning off-shore accounts and properties.
Pakistan Muslim League party has nominated Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for the top slot as interim Prime Minister, until Sharif's brother Shahbaz Sharif, can contend in a by-election.
The case, concerning allegations of money laundering by Sharif in 1990s when he twice served as Prime Minister to purchase assets in London, was launched on November 3, 2016, and the court held 35 hearings before concluding the proceedings on February 23 this year. The assets surfaced when Panama Papers last year showed that they were managed through offshore companies owned by Sharif's children.