At least 123 MPs from Khan’s party decided to quit soon after he was ousted from power in a no-confidence vote in April last year.
Pakistan’s National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf has accepted the resignations of 43 more Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPs, virtually wiping out former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party from Parliament. A day earlier, 45 MPs of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf collectively withdrew their resignations from the National Assembly on the orders of party president and former Prime Minister Imran Khan. At least 123 MPs from Khan’s party decided to quit soon after he was ousted from power in a no-confidence vote in April last year. However, Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf last July accepted the resignations of only 11 of them, while the remaining MPs would be called in person for verification.
Why did Imran take this step?
In an unprecedented move, the speaker last week accepted 69 more resignations, forcing Khan’s party to change its strategy. Khan ordered MPs from his party to withdraw their resignations in order to force the government to allow his party to become the main opposition in parliament. Omar tweeted the next step would be the nomination of the Leader of the Opposition. Senior leader Asad Umar said the MPs informed the decision by sending an email to Assembly Speaker Ashraf.
What new game is going to happen in Pakistan?
The Leader of the Opposition in the House is an important player because the Acting Prime Minister appointed to oversee the elections is nominated after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. Former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the decision to withdraw the resignation was taken so that the party could take back the posts of Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Parliamentary Party. In the absence of the PTI, the post of Leader of the Opposition was allotted to dissident MPs from Khan’s party who refused to resign. PTI MPs staged a sit-in outside the speaker’s house to force him to accede to their requests immediately.
The party’s MPs also met Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) officials in Islamabad and requested that they not be notified if the NA Speaker approves their resignations. PTI made the request after informing the election body that their MLAs are withdrawing their resignations and the NA Speaker has been informed about the same.