The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday declared Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain as the president of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q). A five-member bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, in its reserved verdict rejected the PML-Q Central Working Committee’s decision to remove Shujaat Hussain from the party presidency. The petition was filed by the former premier in July last amid an ongoing tussle with his cousin Pervaiz Elahi over the party leadership. Accepting Shujaat Hussain’s plea against his removal, the ECP also declared the PML-Q intra-party elections as illegal. The PML-Q got divided into two groups over the issue of joining hands with the PTI and PML-N. Pervaiz Elahi and his son Moonis Elahi joined hands with Imran Khan while Chaudhry Shujjat, his son Ch Salik and former federal minister in the PTI government supported the PML-N. In July last year, Pervaiz Elahi’s group had decided to remove Shujaat and General Secretary Tariq Bashir Cheema from the party’s top posts. However, Shujaat had filed an application with the ECP challenging the decision. Recently, rifts between the PML-Q widened as the party elected Wajahat Hussain as its central president, formally ending the 19-year rule of his brother Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain, while retaining former chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi as the party’s Punjab president. The decision was taken at PML-Q’s General Council meeting at Muslim League House in Lahore. Party officials and leaders from Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan participated in the meeting along with PML-Q officials from Azad Jammu and Kashmir. 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. Further, Pervaiz was elected unopposed as PML-Q Punjab president.