ISLAMABAD, May 3, 2012: Amid protest by the opposition the 33-minute sixth sitting of the National Assembly’s 41st session on Thursday adopted two Resolutions – creating a new province in Punjab and posing confidence in the Prime Minister.
The sitting, which started two hours and 25 minutes behind schedule, adopted the first Resolution on creating the South Punjab province while the second reposed confidence in the Prime Minister. Both resolutions were tabled by the Minister for Law and Justice.
The PMLN legislators continued their protest demanding resignation of the Prime Minister after his conviction by the apex court in the contempt case.
A total of 186 legislators present at the start and 206 when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum of 228 Members were observed at any time of the sitting.
The Prime Minister did not attend the proceedings while the Leader of Opposition attended the sitting for 28 minutes.
Out of the 20 questions to be taken up during the Question Hour, only five were put up and responded by the relevant ministries. Seven Supplementary questions were asked during the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for only 33 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1225 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings started two hours and 25 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the initial 28 minutes of the sitting while the remaining time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 28 minutes.
- Only the parliamentary leaders of the PML, MQM and NPP were present, while those of the BNPA, ANP, MMAP and PMLF remained absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, ANP, MQM, and NPP were present.
- A total of 186 Legislators (55%) were present at the outset while there were 206 MNAs (60%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 228 Members were present at one point of the sitting.
- Seven minority Members were present.
- Five Members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Two Calling Attention Notices appearing on the Agenda were not taken up by the House.
- Out of the 20 questions to be taken up during the Question Hour, only five were put up and responded by the relevant ministries.
- Seven Supplementary questions were asked during the sitting.
- The National Commission for Human Rights Bill 2012 was not taken up.
- The House adopted two Resolutions. The first Resolution was about establishing a new South Punjab province named as Southern Punjab and the second Resolution reposed confidence of the Lower House in the Prime Minister.
- Both resolutions were tabled by the Minister for Law and Justice.
Order and institutionalization
- Two Points of Order consumed five minutes of the sitting time. None of them attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- PMLN legislators continued their protest demanding resignation of Prime Minister after his conviction by the apex court in the contempt case.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a Member organization of FAFEN.
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