ISLAMABAD, December 5, 2014: Starting 60 minutes behind schedule, the first sitting of the 11th session of Punjab Assembly was adjourned due to lack of quorum after meeting for two hours and 59 minutes on Friday, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet.
An independent lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1835 hours and the Chair ordered the bells to be rung for five minutes. The Chair ordered for the count twice but quorum was found incomplete following which the sitting was adjourned to meet again on Monday.
The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting. Two newly elected members took oath during the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 59 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1600 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours witnessing a delay of an hour.
- A prayer break of 29 minutes was observed during the sitting.
- Thirty-five members (9%) were present at the outset and 34 at the adjournment of the sitting while a maximum of 90 members (24%) were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for two hours and 34 minutes, while the remaining proceedings were presided over by a member of Panel of Chairperson.
- The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- Only the parliamentary leader of JI attended the sitting.
- Two minority members were present.
- None of the member applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Ten out of 35 starred questions appearing on the agenda were answered by the relevant department while 22 supplementary questions were also asked.
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers raised six points of order that consumed 11 minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- An independent lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1835 hours and the Chair ordered the bells to be rung for five minutes. The Chair ordered for the count twice but quorum was found incomplete following which the sitting was adjourned.
- No instance of protest, walkout or boycott was witnessed during the sitting
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the 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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