Islamabad: National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf has approved the resignations of further 43 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s lawmakers in the lower house, media reports said on Tuesday.
Officials of the speaker’s office, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said 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, Geo news reports.
Interestingly, the approval of the resignations comes a day after 45 PTI MNAs had tried meeting the speaker to withdraw their resignations.
Reacting to the development, senior PTI leader Fawad Chauhdry said the main reason to return to the assembly in small numbers was to remove Raja Riaz as the opposition leader because the legislature had “no importance”.
“Right now, Shehbaz Sharif has lost the support of 172 members and is relying on lotas (turncoats) to save his government,” tweeted Fawad.
As a result of the speaker’s actions to save Raja Riaz, 40% of seats are now vacant, he added.
“Country is close to elections now. The only solution to this problem is general polls,” said Fawad.
On Monday, PTI lawmakers had requested the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that they should not be denotified if Speaker 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.