ISLAMABAD, February 3, 2015: Starting 28 minutes behind the schedule, the second sitting of the National Assembly’s 18th session was marked by a debate on the recent petrol crisis amid low attendance of lawmakers, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
Only 68 members (20%) were present at the start of the sitting and 49 (14%) at the time of adjournment. The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for the entire proceedings.
Four lawmakers participated in the debate on the petrol crisis for 69 minutes. In addition, the House took up a calling attention notice (CAN) regarding clearance of 232 vehicles on fake documents in connivance of the Karachi Customs.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and seven minutes.
- The sitting started at 1128 hours against the scheduled time of 1100 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for an hour and 51 minutes. The rest of the proceedings were presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for the entire proceedings.
- Sixty-eight members (20%) were present at the start of the sitting and 49 (14%) at the time of adjournment. As many as 148 MNAs (43%) were seen at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of MQM, APML, BNP, PML, PML-Z, ANP, AMLP and JI were present.
- Five out of 10 minority members attended the sitting.
- Twenty-one members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Four lawmakers discussed the recent petrol crisis for 69 minutes. The Petroleum Minister opened the debate and spoke for seven minutes, while the Opposition Leader spoke on the issue for 37 minutes. In addition, an MQM lawmaker and a JI legislator shared their views for 15 minutes and 10 minutes respectively.
- The House took up a calling attention notice sponsored by two PML-N lawmakers regarding clearance of 232 vehicles on fake documents in connivance of the Karachi Customs.
Order and Institutionalization
- Eleven points of order consumed 40 minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
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This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and in no way reflect the views of the European Union. This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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