ISLAMABAD, December 22, 2014: Starting 55 minutes behind schedule, the ninth sitting of the Punjab Assembly’s 11th session on Monday witnessed low attendance as twenty members (5%) were present at the outset and 23 (6%) at the adjournment, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily factsheet.
The quorum was visibly lacking during the entire sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the lawmakers. The Leader of the House and Opposition Leader were absent during the sitting. Among parliamentary leaders, only the JI and PPPP leaders were present.
Following are some key observations of the proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and eight minutes.
- The sitting started at 1555 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours, witnessing a delay of 55 minutes.
- The House held a prayer break for 34 minutes.
- Twenty members (5%) were present at the outset and 23 (6%) at the sitting’s adjournment. A maximum of 52 members (14%) were seen at one point of the sitting.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for an hour and eight minutes while the rest of the proceedings were presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader were absent.
- The parliamentary leader of JI and PPPP attended the sitting.
- Three minority members were present.
- No member applied for leave.
- PML-N lawmaker presented a report prepared by the Standing Committee on Health.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Twelve out of 35 starred questions appearing on the agenda were answered by the relevant departments, while 29 supplementary questions were raised by the MPAs.
- The House took up an adjournment motion (AM) moved by three PML lawmakers against no notification issued by Lahore Transport Company for fare reduction despite decrease in petroleum prices. Four other AMs were not taken up.
- The House took up a privilege motion moved by a PML lawmaker against alleged misbehavior of SNGPL Regional Manager in Sargodha which was referred to the relevant standing committee.
- The House did not take up two calling attention notices (CAN) regarding robberies in Lahore. One CAN was sponsored by a PPPP lawmaker and the other by a PML legislator.
Order and Institutionalization
- Two points of order consumed two minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- No protests/walkouts/boycotts were witnessed.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was unavailable to the observers and public.
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The daily factsheet is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization – a member organization of FAFEN
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