NA speaker summons PTI lawmakers to confirm 'genuineness' of resignations

Published May 30, 2022
A file photo of Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervez Ashraf. — Picture via Twitter
A file photo of Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervez Ashraf. — Picture via Twitter

National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf on Monday summoned PTI MNAs — who had quit en masse in the aftermath of their government's ouster last month, to confirm the "voluntary character and genuineness" of their resignation letters.

The NA speaker summoned the party legislators on June 6, the assembly's spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the total number of MNAs who had resigned stood at 131.

The lawmakers had resigned on April 11, two days after former prime minister Imran Khan was ousted from the top office after the no-confidence motion moved by the joint opposition in the parliament against him succeeded.

According to the NA spokesperson, the letters have been dispatched to the MNAs, informing them about the pre-condition of their appearance for acceptance of the resignations.

"I am directed to refer to the letter dated 11-4-2022 regarding your resignation from the seat of the National Assembly and to state that in pursuance of paragraph (b) of sub-rule (2) of rule 43 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007, Honourable Speaker has desired to invite you in his Chamber for inquiry regarding voluntary character and genuineness of aforesaid resignation letter before its acceptance," reads the letter sent to the PTI MNAs.

The NA spokesperson said the process for confirmation of the resignations will continue till June 10. "As many as 30 members will meet the NA speaker on a daily basis."

Each legislator will be granted five minutes for the confirmation of the resignation, the official added.

In all, the PTI has 155 members in the 272-member House. Of them, 20 are dissidents who have been served notices by the party.

After Imran Khan was removed as prime minister on the night of April 9, his declarations against the dissident PTI MNAs were sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan on April 14 by the acting NA speaker.

The PTI had also filed references against 20 MNAs seeking their disqualification.

In its verdict on the petitions on May 11, the ECP decided against de-seating 20 dissident PTI lawmakers, dismissing references against them sent by the party.

In its unanimous decision, a three-member bench of the ECP headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja held that Article 63-A of the Constitution dealing with lawmakers’ disqualification on the grounds of defection did not apply to the 20 PTI MNAs who had jumped ship ahead of the no-confidence move last month.

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