February 25, 2010: Attendance remained low at the 14th sitting of the 19th Session. A total of 56 members were present at the outset of the sitting. The Quorum was lacking through the sitting, but was not pointed out by any of the legislators, reports the Free and Fair Election Network [FAFEN] in its Daily Factsheet on the National Assembly Proceedings.
The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 2 hours and 48 minutes.
- The fourteenth sitting started at 1047 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 47 minutes.
- The Speaker and the Relevant Minister were present, while the Deputy Speaker remained absent during the sitting.
- The Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition were present during the course of the sitting.
- Parliamentary leader of PPPS was present while the leaders of MQM, PML, MMAP, ANP, NPP, BNPA and PMLF remained absent.
- 13 Members appealed for leave to be absent from the parliamentary sitting.
- A total of 56 members were present at the start of the sitting, while 64 members were present at the end of the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took both the CANs.
- The Calling Attention Notices taken up by the House were directed to the Ministry of Commerce regarding ‘the export of yarn and its resultant shortage for domestic consumption’ and the Ministry of Railways regarding ‘the railway engines being unserviceable due to non availability of spare parts’
- The CANs were raised by 5 members of PMLN, 4 members of MQM, and 1 member belonging to PML.
- There were 25 questions on today’s agenda; however, only 08 questions were raised and responded to in the 14th sitting.
- There were no bills on the Orders of the Day.
Order and institutionalization
- 21 Points of Order were raised. However, none of them required the Speaker’s ruling.
- The House continued debating admitted Adjournment Motion on “construction of water reservoirs by India on rivers in violation of Indus Basin Water Treaty”. The House debated the issue for only 13 minutes.
- There was no instance of protest during the fourteenth sitting.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of quorum was not pointed out by any of the present members.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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