ISLAMABAD, March 30, 2010: The 12th sitting of the 20th Session met for two hours and forty seven minutes out of which two hours and seven minutes were consumed on Points of Order, none of which required Speaker’s ruling. The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, but was not pointed out by any of the legislators, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Twelfth Sitting of 20th Session of the National Assembly Proceedings.
The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 2 Hours and 47 Minute.
- The twelfth sitting started at 1024 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 24 minutes.
- The Speaker was absent during the sitting, while the Deputy Speaker was present, who chaired the House for 116 Minutes, while Miss. Yasmeen Rehman chaired the remaining 51 minutes (Panel of Chairpersons).
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 36 minutes. However, the Leader of Opposition remained absent.
- Parliamentary leaders of PML, MMAP, ANP and PPPS were present, while the leaders of NPP, MQM, PMLF and BNPA remained absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, MMAP and PPPS were present while Chief Whips of MQM, ANP, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- Eight members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- A total of 34 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 62 members were present at the end of the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices on the Orders of the Day. The House took up both CANs.
- The Calling Attention Notices taken up by the House were directed to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Water and Power.
- The CAN directed to the Ministry of Education was tabled by 5 members of PPPP, while the CAN directed to the Ministry of Water and Power was sponsored by 5 members of PMLN.
- There was no Question Hour as today was a Private Members’ Day.
- There were three bills on the agenda [The Pakistan Private Hospitals, Clinics and other Private Healthcare Units Regulatory Authority Bill, 2010 ], [The Foreigners (Amendment) Bill, 2010] and [The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2010] which were laid and sent to their respective standing committees.
Order and institutionalization
- 49 Points of Order were raised, taking up 128 minutes of the House proceedings. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
- There was one Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day.
- There was no instance of walkout or boycott during the sitting.
- Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of quorum was not pointed out by any of the members of the National Assembly.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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