In major blow to PTI, ECP denotifies 43 MNAs

NA speaker had accepted 113 resignations in last two weeks, while remaining two are yet to be accepted for being on leave

Nausheen Yusuf
ECP board outside its office. — AFP/File
ECP board outside its office. — AFP/File

  • NA speaker accepted and sent resignations to ECP on Jan 22. 
  • ECP denotified 80 members of PTI last week.
  • Only dissident PTI lawmakers remain in NA.

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Wednesday denotified 43 lawmakers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the last batch of the MNAs who resigned en masse. 

The development came after National Assembly (NA) Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday approved the resignations of the PTI MNAs in the lower house despite their request for withdrawal of the resignations, raising the total to 123. 

According to Geo News sources, the NA speaker approved the resignations on “January 22 and forwarded them to the electoral body the same day” for further processing.

The news came after the party announced that its MPs were withdrawing their resignations and returning to the assembly in a bid to claim the posts of the leader of the opposition and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee — a powerful NA body that keeps a check on government spending.

Last week, the Election Commission denotified 80 members of the PTI and Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Chief of the Awami Muslim League and Imran Khan’s ally.

With the acceptance of 123 resignations, only dissident PTI lawmakers remain in the National Assembly.

Though PTI Chairman Imran Khan was disqualified from his seat in the Mianwali constituency, he had won from six constituencies in the by-elections for 11 National Assembly vacant seats.

He has not taken yet an oath for any of the winning seats while another PTI candidate Maulvi Mehmood, who won the election from the seat that fell vacant due to the death of Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain from Karachi, is also yet to take the oath.

On Monday, the PTI approached the ECP that it had withdrawn the resignations and that the commission should not denotify its members.

According to parliamentary sources, the PTI members’ requests to withdraw their resignations did not have any significance as per the rules.

The sources in the National Assembly say that the speaker accepted the resignations of the remaining 43 members on January 22 and sent them to the Election Commission, so email and WhatsApp requests on January 23 were against the rules.

They say as the resignations were accepted on January 22, the withdrawal requests were ineffective on January 23.

The speaker had accepted 113 resignations in the last two weeks, while resignations of two PTI members —Sardar Talib Nakai and Nawaz Alai— are yet to be accepted for being on leave.

The resignations of PTI members of the National Assembly were approved in four phases: 11 in the first phase, 35, 34, and 43 in the second, third, and fourth phases, respectively.

According to the National Assembly Secretariat, Riaz Fatiyana, Sardar Tariq Hussain, Muhammad Yaqub Sheikh, Murtaza Iqbal, Sardar Muhammad Khan Leghari, Haji Imtiaz Chaudhry, Lal Chand, Jawad Hussain, Nosheen Hamid, Manza Hassan, Saima Nadeem, Tashfeen Safdar, Subia Kamal Khan, Zil-i-Huma, Rukhsana Naveed and Ghazala Saifee are among the 43 MNAs whose resignations were accepted in the last phase.