Out of assemblies



ACCORDING to media reports, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has denotified 43 more Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) belonging to PTI after Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervez Ashraf accepted their resignations bringing the accepted resignations to a total of 124.

The development took place following an announcement by PTI that it was contemplating returning to the National Assembly and written requests sent to both the Speaker and the ECP not to de-notify the remaining MNAs.

Political parties always struggle to ensure their presence in the elected houses but it is strange that PTI is effectively out of assemblies because of its policies and actions.

The party caused dissolution of the two assemblies of Punjab and KP, where it had its own governments, and now it is virtually out of the National Assembly as the remaining members, who fought elections on its ticket, have their own parliamentary identity under the leadership of Raja Riaz.

In fact, the decision of the PTI to return to the National Assembly was motivated by its desire to clinch the coveted slot of leader of the opposition so that the party could have a say in the process of picking up a caretaker set-up as and when the NA is dissolved and fresh elections are announced.

The party leadership apparently learnt a lesson in Punjab where it could not install any of its nominees as the caretaker chief minister.

The situation at the Centre is more embarrassing for the party as it now has no representation in the National Assembly and would not have any role in the selection of the caretaker setup.

The issue of de-notification of the latest batch of the MNAs is likely to be decided in the courts of law as PTI believes the resignations should not have been accepted after it approached the Speaker and the Commission in black and white telling them not to accept the resignations already submitted by its members.

However, there is another interpretation that once resignations are submitted voluntarily these cannot be taken back.

It is also being argued that the Speaker accepted these resignations on January 23 while email and WhatsApp requests for non-acceptance of resignations were sent to him the next day.

Anyhow, PTI has not done any service to the system or to its own cause by wrongly playing the card of resignations which apparently has backfired.