PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday cried foul after reports regarding National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf accepting the resignations of more PTI lawmakers emerged on media.
NA officials told Dawn.com that Ashraf has accepted further resignations and forwarded them to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). However, there is no official confirmation on the matter.
Reacting to the development, Chaudhry tweeted that the purpose of PTI members going back to the assembly was to oust Raja Riaz from the position of the opposition leader.
Otherwise, we have no reason to return to the National Assembly, he tweeted, adding: “Right now, Shehbaz Sharif and his government have lost the support of 172 lawmakers.”
He also pointed out that 40 per cent of seats in the NA were now empty. “The only solution to this crisis is elections.”
Today’s development comes a day after 45 PTI MNAs sent their handwritten withdrawals to the speaker via email and demanded the nomination of a new opposition leader from among them.
The PTI members also met Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja and informed him about their decision to return to the National Assembly after nine months.
A total of 131 MNAs had submitted resignations minutes before the election of Shehbaz Sharif as the prime minister in April.
Subsequently, NA speaker Ashraf accepted only 11 of the resignations, stating that the remaining lawmakers would be summoned individually for verification.
After stalling the process for eight months, Ashraf accepted the resignations of 34 PTI MNAs on Jan 17 and 35 MNAs on Jan 20, including Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid, as the party hinted it would “test” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with a confidence vote.