Pakistan’s Parliament has rejected an Opposition bill aimed at preventing ousted premier Nawaz Sharif from heading the ruling PML-N party.
Sharif, 67, was re-elected as the chief of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in October after he stepped down as the president of his party following a decision by the Supreme Court on July 28 to disqualify him as prime minister in the Panama Papers case.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker Syed Naveed Qamar yesterday introduced the bill to remove section 203 from the recently passed Election Act 2017, which allows a person disqualified by the court to become the head of a political party. The law passed in September benefited Sharif who was forced to resign as the president of PML-N following his disqualification.
Opposition parties have been demanding an amendment to restore the previous law which stated that a disqualified person was not eligible to lead a political party. But the National Assembly rejected the PPP-sponsored bill with 163 lawmakers voting against it. Only 98 members voted in favor of the bill.
The new law has already been challenged in the Supreme Court by the Opposition and now it can be only annulled if the court ruled it as against the Constitution of the country.