Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNAs walked out of the Pakistan National Assembly (NA) on Monday, boycotting the elections to pick the country’s new Prime Minister, Dawn reported.
The move came after Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who was the party’s candidate for the top slot, announced that PTI lawmakers would be resigning en masse from the NA.
Following that, PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq replaced Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, who said his conscience did not allow him to conduct the session, as voting for the new premier began.
The development comes two days after an unceremonious end to PTI chief Imran Khan’s tenure as the country’s Prime Minister through a no-confidence vote.
After taking the chair of the Speaker, Sadiq read out the rules and procedure for the elections and asked for the bells to be rung for five minutes so that any lawmaker outside the chamber hall could return.
After the recitation, Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, who was initially chairing the session, explained his rationale behind his contentious ruling to dismiss the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan on April 3.
“The ruling was declared unconstitutional by the court, and we all are obliged to respect the court. But I want to tell you the reason behind my ruling,” he said, adding that he had taken the decision “as a responsible Pakistani and Deputy Speaker of the NA”.