February 11, 2010: The fourth sitting of the Nineteenth Session of the National Assembly was marked by low attendance of members with only 42 being present at the end of the sitting that lasted a little over four hours, the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) reported.
The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 04 hours and 03 minutes.
- The fourth sitting started at 1636 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by 36 minutes.
- The House took a 37-minute break for prayers.
- The Speaker of the House was not present during the sitting. The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were present during the sitting.
- Parliamentary leaders of PML, PPPP, PML-N, PPP-S and PML-F were present, while the leaders of MQM, MMAP, ANP, NPP and BNPA remained absent.
- 10 Members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- A total of 61 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 42 members at the end of the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took both CANs.
- The Calling Attention Notices taken up by the House were directed to the Ministry of Inter-provincial Coordination and Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Development.
- One Calling Attention Notice was tabled by 5 members belonging to PPPP, while the other CAN was tabled by MQM legislators
- There was no Question and Answer session in the sitting as the prerequisite two weeks have not lapsed between the two sessions.
- There was only one bill (The National Commission for Human Development (Amendment) Bill, 2010) listed on the Orders of the Day, which was rejected by the House after discussion.
Order and institutionalization
- 35 Points of Order were raised. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
- The House debated the admitted Adjournment Motion on “the conviction of Dr Aafia Siddiqui by a US Court” for 1 hour and 23 minutes.
- There was no instance of protest, boycott or walkout in Thursday’s 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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