The Election Commission Friday said former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat would remain the PML-Q president and Tariq Bashir Cheema secretary-general until the next hearing. A four-member bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, heard Ch Shujaat’s plea against the intra-party election. The CEC said the ECP was issuing notices to the parties in the case – PML-Q leader and his brother Pervaiz Elahi and Punjab Secretary General Kamil Ali Agha and both – Shujaat and Cheema – would retain their positions till the next hearing. The CEC then adjourned the proceedings till August 16. Shujaat’s counsel told the four-member bench that his client got to know about a meeting of the party’s Central Working Committee meeting, which through an unsigned letter, had decided to remove the ex-PM and Cheema. He told the bench that a Central Working Committee does not “exist” in the party and the leaders’ decision to hold an intra-party election was also illegal. “The members were not aware of the meeting; there is no list of the members who participated in the meeting; therefore, it is illegal,” the lawyer said. He stressed that Shujaat and Cheema still held their offices and demanded action against the leaders who called themselves members of the central working committee. The lawyer said the Central Working Committee does not have the authority to remove the party president from office, while they can leave the office through voluntary resignation. He apprised the bench that the last elections of the PML-Q were held in 2021 and every person contesting in those polls was elected unopposed. “No office-bearer can be removed. They will cease to hold office only if they resign or die.” “It has become necessary to isolate Ch Shujaat to save the party from destruction,” Senator Kamil Ali Agha had said while talking to the media after the CWC meeting in Lahore. However on Thursday, the PML-Q’s Central Executive Committee reposed confidence in the leadership of Shujaat and decided to send a show-cause notice to Senator Agha and others for holding an “illegal meeting” in Lahore. The party’s provincial presidents disassociated themselves from the Lahore meeting and condemned the illegal dismissal of Shujaat and Cheema. The meeting passed a resolution unanimously to express confidence in the leadership of Shujaat. It was decided in the meeting that a legal team would be consulted to challenge the illegal move of the PML-Q Punjab chapter as it was not authorised to convene a meeting on August 10. The meeting’s participants to suspend the party membership of those participating in the Lahore meeting. Speaking outside the ECP building, Chaudhry Salik Hussain revealed that Shujaat had decided to act against 10 PMLQ MPAs in the Punjab Assembly who voted in favor of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi against his instructions as the party head. Salik said that PML-Q Punjab Secretary General Kamal Ali Agha – who arranged the meeting on July 27 to remove Shujaat – had already been served a show-cause notice.