PTI requests ECP not to denotify MNAs if resignations accepted

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers talk outside Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in Islamabad on January 23, 2023. — HumNews screengrab/Live
  • Lawmakers were barred from entering Parliament House.
  • Over 40 lawmakers withdraw their resignations from NA.
  • Decision made on Imran Khan’s directives. 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers on Monday requested the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that they should not be denotified if NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf approves their resignations.

The PTI made the request after it informed the electoral body that their MNAs are withdrawing their resignations and the NA speaker has been informed about it.

The MNAs submitted the plea in a meeting with the members of the electoral body after their protest outside the ECP’s building. They had moved to the ECP after the authorities restricted them from entering Parliament earlier today.

Following the protest, PTI leader Malik Aamir Dogar and Riaz Fitiyana were summoned inside the ECP building for a meeting.

The PTI lawmakers requested the ECP in their plea that they shouldn’t be “de-notified” if the NA speaker accepts their resignations.

The meeting of the MNAs and ECP members was held after the former’s protest outside the electoral body’s building.

PTI leader Aamir Dogar said that they were at the ECP to inform the electoral body about the decision to retract resignations.

This was after an earlier sit-in outside the NA speaker’s house after they were denied entry into Ashraf’s residence when they demanded to meet the custodian of the house or secretary regarding their resignations. Earlier, they were also restricted from entering the Parliament House.

Dogar demanded that the MNAs wanted to meet the NA speaker or the secretary regarding the resignations.

“About 45 MPs came to the office of the NA speaker,” he added. He said that the senate’s meeting was postponed today, adding that the lawmakers will go to the speaker’s residence to meet his staff.

PTI MNA Lal Chand Malhi said that Khan has decided that the resignations should be retracted.

MNAs to withdraw resignations 

Earlier today, more than 40 PTI lawmakers decided to withdraw their resignations from the National Assembly on the instructions of party chief Imran Khan.

PTI Secretary-General Asad Umar, on Twitter, announced that the remaining 44 MNAs of the party, whose resignations are yet to be accepted, have decided to take back their decision of leaving the assembly.

“An email has been sent to the speaker,” said the PTI leader. He also shared the names of the MNAs that have withdrawn their resignations.

Meanwhile, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said that 45 lawmakers have decided to take back their resignations so that the party can take the posts of the leader of the opposition and parliamentary party leader.

Chaudhry said that the PTI decided to take back the resignations so they could get rid of the “fake” opposition leader and to prevent the “lotay (turncoats)” from voting in favour of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the vote of confidence.

Interestingly, the number of lawmakers mentioned by Umar and Chaudhry differed from each other. The former mentioned names of 44 MNAs while the latter said that 45 lawmakers have retracted their resignations.

PTI MNAs protest outside ECP

Following the announcement, the PTI lawmakers staged a sit-in outside the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) headquarters after being barred from entering the speaker’s house.

However, the authorities restricted the MNAs from entering the building by placing barbed wires on the way leading to the ECP.

PTI leader Aamir Dogar said that they were at the ECP to inform the electoral body about the decision to retract resignations.

Earlier, the PTI MNAs staged a sit-in outside the NA speaker’s house, obstructing the way leading to the Ministers’ Enclave.

The development came after National Assembly Speaker Pervez Ashraf, last week, accepted the resignations of 70 MNAs

The speaker first accepted 34 resignations on January 17 and then 35 more three days later. 

The Election Commission of Pakistan had immediately de-notified the MNAs after the speaker sent their resignations.

Last year in July, NA Speaker Raja Parveiz Ashraf accepted the resignations of 11 PTI lawmakers.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan contested on eight of those seats when by-elections were held in October and won from seven of those constituencies that went to poll. 

The resignations

The PTI lawmakers had tendered their resignations en masse after the Imran Khan-led government was ousted via a no-confidence motion in April of last year.

The PTI had claimed resignations were accepted by former deputy speaker Qasim Suri in absence of the speaker after 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.

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