ISLAMABAD, May 4, 2010: The 2nd sitting of the 22nd National Assembly session started 26 minutes late, with only 28 members present at the start. The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 41 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Second 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 02 hours and 46 minutes.
- The second sitting started at 1026 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 26 minutes.
- The Speaker of the House chaired the sitting for 68 minutes, while the Deputy Speaker chaired the remaining 98 minutes.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 41 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was absent from today’s proceedings.
- Parliamentary leaders of PML, MQM, ANP, NPP, MMAP and BNPA were absent, while only the leaders of PPPS and PMLF were present.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, MQM, ANP, MMAP, PPPS and PMLF were present, while the chief whips of NPP and BNPA were absent.
- Five members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- A total of 28 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 90 members at the end of the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices on the Orders of the Day. One CAN was taken up by the House.
- The Calling Attention Notice taken up by the House was directed to the Cabinet Secretariat regarding ‘increase in the prices of petroleum’. This CAN was raised by 5 MQM members.
- The other CAN was directed to the Ministry of Education regarding ‘delayed distribution of text books to the students of Government Schools just before the commencement of their examinations’. This was raised by 2 PMLN members and 1 member of PML.
- There was no Question Hour session as today was a Private Members’ Day.
- The House took up only one bill [The Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010], which was tabled by a member of PPPP.
Order and institutionalization
- 10 Points of Order was raised, taking up 17 minutes of the House proceedings. However, it didn’t require Speaker’s ruling.
- There was no Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day.
- There was one instance of a token walkout by members of MQM on the issue of ‘increase in Petroleum prices in the country’. The walkout lasted five minutes.
- 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.
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