Pakistan

Resignations of 43 more PTI lawmakers 'accepted'

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National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has accepted the resignations of another 43 Members of the National Assembly (MNA) belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Express News reported on Tuesday.

The speaker approved the resignations and sent them to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), following which notifications will be issued.

Apart from the dissenting members of the PTI, only two members of the former ruling party remain in the lower house.

Read Legal wrangle: PTI likely to mount court challenge today

The development comes a day after, 45 PTI MNAs requested to withdraw their resignations, out of which 43 members' resignations were accepted today.

According to sources in the Speaker's Office, the resignations of 123 PTI lawmakers have been accepted so far, whereas the resignations of two members were not accepted due to their requests for leave.

The electoral watchdog also received the resignations of PTI members and will decide on their de-notification in a meeting today. The ECP will also contemplate whether to accept the former ruling party's MNAs' request to pardon them from denotification.

In a series of tweets, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry stated that the party had decided to return to the NA in "limited numbers" to remove opposition leader Raja Riaz, otherwise "this National Assembly had no representative status left for us to return to it".

محدود تعداد میں اسمبلی جانے کا مقصد راجہ ریاض کو اپوزیشن لیڈر کے عہدے سے فارغ کرنا تھا ورنہ اس قومی اسمبلی کی کوئ نمائندہ حیئثئت نہیں کہ اس میں واپس جائیں، اس وقت شہباز شریف حکومت 172 لوگوں کی حمائیت کھو چکی ہے اور حکومت بچانے کیلئے لوٹوں پر انحصار کر رہی ہے،
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) January 24, 2023

"At present, the Shehbaz Sharif government has lost the support of 172 people and the government is depending on turncoats (dissenting PTI MNAs) to save it," he added.

Fawad maintained that as a result of the speaker's actions to save Raja Riaz, 40% of the NA seats became vacant and the country was inching closer to elections.

"The only solution to this crisis is national elections," he stated, questioning how long the government would avoid the nation.

راجہ ریاض کو بچانے کیلئے اسپیکر کے اقدامات کے نتیجے میں اس وقت 40فیصد نشستیں خالی ہو چکی ہیں، ملک انتخابات کے مزید قریب آگیا ہے، اس بحران کا واحد حل قومی انتخابات ہیں حکومت کتنا عرصہ عوام سے کترائے گی آخر فیصلہ لوگوں نے کرنا ہے اور فیصلہ ووٹ سے ہو گا
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) January 24, 2023

He added that the people would have to decide and the decision would be made through voting.

Earlier, Fawad had said that the decision to withdraw NA resignations was taken so that the party could take back the posts of the leader of the opposition and parliamentary party leader.

He added that the aim of the move was to get rid of the “fake” NA opposition leader and prevent “turncoats” from voting for Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the vote of confidence.

Read More Pakistan fast heading into economic meltdown

It is pertinent to note that PTI MNAs sent emails to the NA speaker yesterday to withdraw their resignations due to the closure of the Parliament House, while letters were also sent to the speaker.

PTI members also reached the National Assembly on Monday where the gates of the Parliament House were closed as the building was shut for three days due to a short circuit.

PTI workers protested outside the Parliament House. Party leader Aamir Dogar said that closing the gate showed “cowardice”.

“Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja personally received our application and we requested him that the ECP must play its constitutional role here,” he told the media.

Flanked by Riaz Fatyana and other leaders, Dogar said the PTI delegation told the commission to treat the party’s decision justly and in the light of the Constitution.

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