ISLAMABAD, June 14, 2019: The National Assembly (NA) on Friday could not complete its one-point agenda due to the protests by lawmakers that prevented the Leader of the Opposition to open budget debate, observers Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during third sitting of the 11th NA session:
- The House met for four hours and 36 minutes; however, the Chair suspended the proceedings for three hours and 20 minutes when the treasury lawmakers opposed Leader of the Opposition to open budget debate.
- The proceedings started at 1054 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours.
- The Speaker presided over the sitting for 26 minutes while rest of the sitting was chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Leader of the House (Prime Minister) did not attend the sitting.
- The Opposition Leader attended the entire sitting.
- As many as 98 lawmakers (29%) were present at the outset and 105 (31%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, GDA, PML and BAP attended the sitting.
- Six out of 10 minority lawmakers were also present during the proceedings.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The Chair gave the floor to the opposition leader to begin debate on budget, however, due to the protests by the treasury benches, he couldn’t start debate. Later, the House was suspended for 14 minutes. When the session started, the protests continued that forced the Chair to suspend the sitting again until after Friday prayers. When the proceedings began at 1440 hours, the Leader of the Opposition stood up and spoke for two minutes. In the meantime, the JUI-F lawmakers insisted to take the floor, which was not allowed by the Chair amid protest by treasury benches that led to the adjournment of the sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- Two lawmakers including Minister for Human Rights and PPPP lawmaker spoke on as many Points of Order for six minutes.
- The treasury lawmakers continued their protest on the floor for 50 minutes when the Chair asked the Leader of the Opposition on multiple occasions to open budget debate.
- JUI-F lawmakers walked out of the proceedings at 1525 hours when the Chair did not allow them to speak on Points of Order. They did not return to the House until the adjournment of the sitting.
- The House was adjourned to meet again on June 17, 2019 (Monday) at 1600 hours.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Attendance of lawmakers was available to the media and observers.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly’s proceedings, conducted by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted
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