Speaker of the National Assembly (NA), Raja Pervez Ashraf, has on Tuesday morning approved the resignations of a further 43 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) lawmakers in the lower house.

Reacting to the development, senior PTI leader Fawad Chauhdry said the main reason to return to the assembly in small numbers was to remove Raja Riaz as the opposition leader because the legislature had “no importance”.

“Right now, Shehbaz Sharif has lost the support of 172 members and is relying on lotas (turncoats) to save his government,” tweeted Fawad.

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He also pointed out that 40 per cent of seats in the NA were now empty. “The only solution to this crisis is elections.”

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NA speaker accepts resignations of 35 more PTI lawmakers

Ashraf on Friday, January 20, accepted the resignations of 35 more PTI Members of Provincial Assembly (MNAs), days after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) de-notified 34 PTI MNAs after their resignations were accepted by Ashraf.

PTI lawmakers had resigned en masse from the lower house of parliament following the ouster of PTI chief Imran Khan in April last year through a Vote of No Confidence.

A total of 69 resignations were accepted this week after the PTI announced to return to the assembly and threatened to move a no-trust motion against the incumbent Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif.

According to reports, President Arif Alvi had been all set to ask PM Shehbaz Sharif to take a vote of confidence from the lower house of the parliament.

Raja Pervez Ashraf had previously accepted the resignations of only 11 MNAs in July last year.

After ECP de-notified 35 PTI MNAs, the party’s senior leader Fawad Chaudhry announced that party Chairman Imran Khan himself will contest on all 33 National Assembly constituencies.

This is not the first time that such an announcement has been made.

Last year, in October, Khan announced that he would contest on seven seats of the national assembly. At the time, he lost from only one seat and won the remaining six.