National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf has approved the resignations of 43 more Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmakers in the lower house.
Officials of the Speaker’s Office, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said on Tuesday that Ashraf had approved the resignations a few days ago and has sent a summary to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The approval means that only dissident PTI lawmakers remain in the National Assembly now.
The speaker’s move comes a day after 45 MNAs had tried to meet him to withdraw their resignations.
Justifying the decision, PTI leader Fawad Chauhdry said that the main reason to return to the assembly was to remove Raja Riaz as the opposition leader.
After the approval of 43 more resignations, the number of PTI MNAs who are no more members of the assembly rises to 122. Resignation of PTI ally Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has also been approved.
It may be recalled that the speaker approved the resignations of 11 MNAs of the PTI in July 2022, of whom Shakur Shad, elected from Karachi, filed a petition in the court and withdrew his resignation.
The speaker accepted resignations of 35 PTI members on January 20 and 34 on January 17. A total 81 members had been de-notified by the Election Commission.
RESIGNATIOS: The PTI lawmakers had tendered their resignations en masse after the Imran Khan-led government was ousted in April last.
The PTI had claimed resignations were accepted by former deputy speaker Qasim Suri after speaker Asad Qaiser’s resignation.
Speaker Ashraf had stalled the process of accepting resignations stating the remaining lawmakers would be summoned individually for verification.
However, contrary to his claims he quickened the process once PTI, earlier this month, announced its return to the assembly and test the PM through a no-trust move.