Prime Minister did not attend proceedings; PTI lawmakers tear apart copies of agenda
ISLAMABAD, December 14, 2016: The National Assembly left its entire agenda unaddressed except Question Hour owing to the protest and exchange of hot words between treasury and the opposition lawmakers on Wednesday, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet.
The Speaker announced suspension of the proceedings for 19 minutes following PTI lawmakers’ protest in front of his rostrum. The opposition lawmakers also tore apart the copies of agenda when the Chair did not allow their Deputy Parliamentary Leader to speak on a Point of Order.
The sitting started 44 minutes behind the schedule, with 96 members (28%) present at the start and 142 (42%) at time of adjournment. The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting, while the Leader of the Opposition remained present for an hour and 49 minutes.
A newly-elected PPPP lawmaker Abdul Hakeem Baloch took the oath.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during first sitting of the 38th session:
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 39 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1644 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The House had a prayer break of 24 minutes.
- The Speaker presided over the entire sitting while the Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Leader of the House (Prime Minister) did not attend the sitting.
- The Leader of the Opposition was present for an hour and 49 minutes.
- A total of 96 lawmakers (28%) were present at the outset and 142 (42%) at adjournment of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PML-Z, AML-P, JI, and APM-L attended the sitting.
- Six minority members were present.
- The House did not take up any agenda item except the Question Hour.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Eight out of 32 Starred Questions were responded to by the government. The lawmakers also asked seven Supplementary Questions.
- The Chair did not admit a privilege motion of Opposition Leader against Prime Minister.
Order and Institutionalization
- Two Points of Order consumed 44 minutes of the proceedings.
- PTI lawmakers protested in front of the Speaker’s rostrum for 17 minutes, following which the Chair had to suspend the proceedings for 19 minutes. The opposition continued their protest even after resumption of the proceedings which led to the adjournment of sitting until tomorrow.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- The attendance of lawmakers was available to the media and observers.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted.
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