ISLAMABAD- Lawmakers of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) submitted their resignations from the National Assembly on Friday, as the party continues to lead a sit-in in the capital against Nawaz Sharif's government.

PTI leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Arif Alvi and Shireen Mazari submitted the resignations of all 34 MNAs to the NA speaker’s office, including that of Chairman Imran Khan. The resignations come as the PTI has been engaged in protests and sit-ins against the Nawaz government over alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections.

The party had earlier decided to resign from all assemblies except the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, a province where it forms the government. “We had already given our resignations to our chairman, and now we have also completed the formal procedure of submitting them to the National Assembly speaker,” said PTI leader Murad Saeed shortly after the resignations had been submitted.

Speaking to a private TV channel, former Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Kanwar Dilshad said that as per rules, the lawmakers' assembly membership ceases the moment they submit their resignations. “In principle, now that they have submitted their resignations in front of the media, there is no question of their resignations not being accepted,” he said. “Our future course of action is clear; we demand free and fair elections in Pakistan, an independent election commission, accountability of those involved in electoral rigging, and the resignation of the prime minister,” said Saeed.

Speaking to media representatives after submitting the resignations, Qureshi said the 2013 general elections were not free and fair. He added that the party would take guidance from the Constitution, adding that the sit-in would not remain restricted to Islamabad. “We will hold sit-ins in the other major cities as well,” the PTI leader said.