ISLAMABAD, November 5, 2012: Starting two hours and 15 minutes behind schedule, the first sitting of 42th session of the Punjab Assembly witnessed low attendance of MPAs with only 34 (9% of the total membership – 371) present at the outset and 51 were there at the adjournment, says Free and Fair Election Network.
None of the nine bills appearing on the Orders of the Day were left unaddressed. Similarly, only one out of 31 questions were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministry.
The quorum, visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, was pointed out by a PPPP Member which led to the adjournment of the sitting.
The Speaker, the Chief Minister and the parliamentary leader of PMLZ did not attend the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for an hour.
- The sitting started at 1715 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1500 hours. The proceedings started two hours and 15 minutes late.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting. The Speaker was not present.
- The Chief Minister was not present while the Leader of the Opposition attended the proceeding for 20 minutes.
- The parliamentary leaders of the PML, MMAP and PMLF were present.
- Thirty-four Members (9% of the total Membership were present at the start while 51 (14%) were there at the adjournment.
- Four minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Only one out of 31 questions appearing on the agenda was taken up and responded to by the relevant ministry. Additionally, five supplementary questions were also asked.
- Nine bills appearing on the Orders of the Day were not taken up by the House.
Order and Institutionalization
- Sixteen Points of Order were raised during the sitting which consumed 24 minutes. None of the Points of Order raised attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts during the sitting.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The quorum, visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, was pointed out by a PPPP Member which led to the adjournment of the sitting.
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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