208-minute debate on Presidential Address in 7th sitting

ISLAMABAD, May 11, 2010: National Assembly continued debating Presidential Address in Seventh sitting of the 22nd session, which was marked by low attendance and a long 208-minute debate on President’s Address, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Seventh Sitting of 22nd Session of the National Assembly Proceedings.

The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:

Members’ participation in House proceedings

  • The National Assembly met for 03 hours and 44 minutes.
  • The Seventh sitting started at 1036 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 36 minutes.
  • The Speaker of the House was not present during the sitting. The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for 143 minutes. Nawab Muhammad Yousaf Talpur, a Member of Penal of Chairperson chaired the sitting for 81 minutes.
  • The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 58 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition remained present in the House for 12 minutes.
  • Parliamentary leaders of PML, PPPS and PMLF were present while the leaders of MQM, ANP, NPP, MMAP, and BNPA were absent.
  • The Chief Whips of PPPP, MQM, PPPS, ANP, MMAP, PML and PMLF were present, while the chief whips of PMLN, NPP and BNPA were absent.
  • Eight members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
  • A total of 41 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 34 members at the end of the sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • There was no agenda on the Orders of the Day for seventh sitting with the exception of debate on Presidential Address.
  • As many as 16 Members spoke on Presidential Address for 208 minutes.

Order and institutionalization

  • There were 6 Points of Orders raised during the sitting, which consumed 06 minutes of the proceedings.
  • There was no instance of walkout or boycott during the sitting
  • A PML Member raised a question of personal privilege, which was referred to the Committee of Rules and Procedure by the Speaker


  • 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 members of the National Assembly.

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