The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday de-notified 43 lawmakers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the last batch of the MNAs who resigned en masse. 

The development came after National Assembly (NA) Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday approved the resignations of the MNAs despite their request for withdrawal of the resignations, raising the total to 123. 

The speaker reportedly approved the resignations on “January 22 and forwarded them to the electoral body the same day” for further processing.

The news had come after the party announced that its MPs were withdrawing their resignations and returning to the assembly in a bid to claim the posts of the leader of the opposition and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee — a powerful NA body that keeps a check on government spending.

Last week, the ECP de-notified 80 members of the PTI and Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Chief of the Awami Muslim League and Imran Khan’s ally.

With the acceptance of 123 resignations, only dissident PTI lawmakers remain in the National Assembly.

Though former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan has been disqualified from his seat in the Mianwali constituency, he has won from six constituencies in the by-elections of 11 vacant seats of the National Assembly.

He has not taken yet an oath from any of the winning seats while another PTI candidate Maulvi Mehmood, who won the election from the seat that fell vacant due to the death of Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain from Karachi, is yet to take oath.

On Monday, the PTI approached the ECP that it had withdrawn the resignations and that the commission should not de-notify its members.

According to experts, the PTI members’ requests to withdraw their resignations were not as per the rules.

Insiders in the assembly said that the speaker had accepted the resignations of the remaining 43 members on January 22 and sent them to the ECP, so email and WhatsApp requests on January 23 were against the rules.

The speaker had accepted 113 resignations in the last two weeks, while two PTI members Sardar Talib Nakai and Nawaz Alai’s resignations are yet to be accepted for being on leave.

The resignations of PTI members of the National Assembly were approved in four phases: 11 in the first phase, 35, 34, and 43 in the second, third, and fourth phases, respectively.

According to the National Assembly Secretariat, Riaz Fatiyana, Sardar Tariq Hussain, Yaqub Sheikh, Murtaza Iqbal, Sardar Muhammad Khan Leghari, Haji Imtiaz Chaudhry, Lal Chand, Jawad Hussain, Nosheen Hamid, Manza Hassan, Saima Nadeem, Tashfeen Safdar, Subia Kamal Khan, Zil-i-Huma, Rukhsana Naveed and Ghazala Saifee are among the 43 MNAs whose resignations were accepted in the last phase.

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