ISLAMABAD, April 22, 2011: The National Assembly met for an hour and 40 minutes during the tenth sitting of the ongoing 30th session. The sitting which started 55 minutes late witnessed low attendance of Members, with only 65 Members present at the beginning and 112 present when the sitting was adjourned.
The House did not debate on the Presidential Address during the course of the sitting.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 20 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 21 minutes. The Parliamentary Leader of the PPPS was the only one present, while the leaders of other parliamentary parties did not attend the sitting’s proceedings. Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 40 minutes.
- The tenth sitting started at 1055 Hours against scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 55 minutes.
- The Speaker was not present during the proceedings. The entire sitting time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 20 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 21 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leader of the PPPS was the only one present, while the leaders of the PML, MMAP, ANP, PMLF, MQM, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, MQM and ANP were present, while the chief whips of MMAP, PMLF, BNPA and NPP were absent.
- A total of 65 (19%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 112 (33%) Members at the end of the sitting.
- As many as seven out of 10 minority Members were present during the 10thsitting.
- A total of seven Members applied for leave of absence from the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. These CANs were not taken up by the House during the course of the sitting.
- A total of 27 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only 13 were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
- A total of 27 Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the tenth sitting.
- The National Assembly took up the proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedures and Business of Conduct of the National Assembly, which appeared on the Orders of the Day.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of seven Points of Order were raised, consuming 20 minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order raised by Members attracted the Speaker’s formal ruling.
- The National Assembly did not debate on the Presidential Address during the course of the sitting.
- 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 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
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