Acting NA Speaker accepts resignations of 123 PTI MNAs

Conducting by-elections in different constituencies throughout the country
will be a difficult task

ISLAMABAD  –   In a major political development, the National Assembly Secretariat yesterday accepted 123 resignations of PTI MNAs which is believed to create a political crisis in the country.

The acceptance of resignations by a large number of PTI parliamentarians is believed to further aggravate political activities in the country, as conducting by-elections in different constituencies throughout the country will be a difficult task. The PTI lawmakers from provinces will follow the same path in the coming days, background discussions with PTI senior members revealed.

On Thursday, Acting Speaker National Assembly Qasim Khan Suri accepted resignations of 123 PTI MNAs out of total of 125 resignations submitted to the National Assembly Secretariat. “In the light of Rule 43 of Rules and Procedures and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007, I accepted 123 resignations,” says acting Speaker Muhammad Qasim Khan Suri, in a notification.

“All the resignations except Prince Muhammad Nawaz Allai (NA-12) and Jawad Hussain (NA-47) are given voluntarily and genuine,” according to the office order of the National Assembly Secretariat available with The Nation. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan soon after the news flashed in the media lauded his MNAs for tendering their resignations. “Want to appreciate our 123 MNAs as their resignations have been accepted by Speaker Qasim Suri. Their standing firm for a sovereign Pak & against US-initiated regime change bringing to power criminals, convicted & on bail — the ultimate insult to any self-respecting indep[endent] nation,” said former Prime Minister in his tweet.

Constitutional experts believed that the en masse resignations of PTI will not affect the legislative process in the National Assembly as it has the required simple majority in the house. The ruling clique would face difficulty to get any constitutional amendment passed from the house as it lacked the two-third majority. The decision of accepting the resignation was taken immediately, as it was being considered that the next Speaker National Assembly from the current government would delay the process. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is bound to hold a by-election within 60 days on all seats vacated by the PTI lawmakers. The PTI dissidents, if evolve consensus, in their ranks would able to create unrest in the PTI by nominating its member for leaders of the opposition in the National Assembly on the basis of its strength. The ECP, currently engaged in the delimitation of constituencies, would face many difficulties to hold by-elections on such a large number of seats.

The PTI lawmakers, a couple of days before, had submitted their resignations in the National Assembly following ouster of PTI Chairman Imran Khan from the office through no-trust motion. The former opposition with the strength of 174 voted out Prime Minister Imran Khan. After being removed from the office, the former premier asked his MNAs to tender their resignations and refused to accept the newly-elected premier, saying “there can’t be any bigger insult to this country”. The PTI members made the decision in a crucial parliamentary party meeting that met under the chair of former PM Imran Khan. Later, Vice Chairman PTI Shah Mahmood Qureshi made the announcement on the floor of the National Assembly just minutes before the election of the next prime minister of the country. Qureshi was nominated to contest for leader of the house but he, with other party lawmakers, announced to resign and boycott the voting procedure.

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