LAHORE: As the PML-N Punjab president’s office fell vacant after Shahbaz Sharif was elevated to the office of interim president on Tuesday, the party bigwigs believe none of the scions of the Sharif family is being considered for the slot.
“The party is not considering Maryam (daughter of Nawaz) and Hamza (son of Shahbaz) for the Punjab president. Since both the party president and Quaid offices are from Lahore, I think the new Punjab president will either be from south or north,” Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told Dawn on Tuesday.
He said so far no deliberations had been made to decide who could replace Shahbaz.
Rana Sana says president may be from south or north of province
“After election of ‘full-time’ president of the party in the general council next month, the new president will hold discussion to fill this and other vacant party offices,” he said.
Another senior party leader said the new party president in Punjab would be ‘ceremonial’ as in the presence of the parliamentary boards he would virtually have no powers.
“You see the party affairs have eventually been handled by the Sharif brothers. As it is a laborious job, Maryam will never be interested in it,” he said, adding since Shahbaz was Punjab chief minister and party’s interim president Hamza would not even be considered for the slot.
The PML-N leader said Maryam might be interested in the chief minister slot but not the party office. “If PML-N is voted to power again, Maryam can be a strong candidate for the CM slot,” he said.
The PML-N central working committee on Tuesday also did not discuss the successor of Shahbaz in Punjab.
PML-N information secretary and Climate Change Minister Senator Mushahidullah Khan told Dawn that the decision to appoint new Punjab president and central secretary general would be taken after election of Shahbaz as ‘full time’ president by the general council on March 6.
He said the meeting also approved constitution of parliamentary boards and hopefully the party offices would also be filled next month.
To a question about reports of Maryam being favourite to grab the Punjab president slot, the minister said: “Maryam is a national leader and she is bravely fighting along with her father. She has emerged as a strong political leader and she is able to perform any role at provincial or federal level the party assigns her,” he added.
Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2018