NA Speaker ‘accepts’ resignations of 43 more PTI MNAs. National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has approved the resignations of 43 more Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPs in the lower house.
Officials in the speaker’s office, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Ashraf had approved the resignations a few days ago and sent a summary to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The approval means that only dissident PTI MPs will remain in the National Assembly.
Interestingly, the resignation approval comes a day after 45 PTI MNAs tried to meet the speaker to withdraw their resignations.
Reacting to the development, senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhary said that the main reason for returning to the assembly in small numbers was the removal of Raja Riaz as Leader of the Opposition as the legislature had “no importance”.
Fawad tweeted, “As of now, Shehbaz Sharif has lost the support of 172 members and is counting on Lotus (instead) to save his government.”
He said that as a result of the Speaker’s actions to save Raja Riaz, 40% of the seats are now vacant.
“The country is now close to elections. The only solution to this problem is general elections,” said Fawad.
Read More: FIA gives clean chit to Suleman Shehbaz in money laundering case
PTI requests ECP not to denotify MNA
On Monday, PTI MPs requested the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that they should not be denotified if Speaker Ashraf accepts their resignation.
PTI made the request after informing the election body that their MNAs are withdrawing their resignations and the NA Speaker has been informed about the same.
The MNAs presented the petition at a meeting with members of the electoral body after their protest outside the ECP building. He had moved to the ECP after the authorities barred him from entering Parliament.
PTI MPs had resigned en masse after the Imran Khan-led government was ousted through a no-confidence motion in April last year.
PTI had claimed that after the resignation of Asad Qaiser, former Deputy Speaker Kasim Suri had accepted the resignation in the Speaker’s absence.
Speaker Ashraf had put on hold the process of accepting the resignations saying that the remaining MPs would be called in person for verification.
However, contrary to his claims, he hastened the process when PTI announced its return to the assembly earlier this month and tested the PM through a no-confidence motion.
Till now resignations of 124 PTI MNAs have been accepted and 81 members have been denotified.
NA President Ashraf accepted PTI’s resignations in four phases. Initially only 11 resignations were accepted, while in the second phase 34 and in the third phase 35 and now 43 have been approved.