3rd Joint Session Prorogued; Resolution Adopted to Strengthen Democracy

ISLAMABAD, September 19, 2014: The 3rd Joint Session of the Parliament prorogued sine die on Friday after unanimously adopting a resolution to uphold the supremacy of parliament, constitution, democracy and state institutions, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).

The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition winded up the political debate in the joint session which was especially convened to debate prevailing political situation after sit-ins in Islamabad.  In addition, four lawmakers-one each of JI, ANP, PTI and an Independent candidate – took part in the debate during the last sitting.

MQM lawmakers walked out from the sitting at 1435 hours demanding to set up new administrative units in Sindh. They did not return to the house until the end of the session.

The Prime Minister and his counterpart, the Leader of the Opposition, attended the sitting for 95 minutes and 80 minutes respectively.

Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:

Members’ Participation in House Proceedings

  • The Joint Sitting lasted five hours and ten minutes.
  • The sitting started at 1115 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours, witnessing a delay of 45 minutes.
  • The House had a prayer break for an hour and 40 minutes.
  • The Speaker chaired the entire sitting while the Deputy Speaker was also present. The Chairman Senate and the Deputy Chairman did not attend the sitting.
  •  The Prime Minister and his counterpart, the Leader of the Opposition, attended the sitting for 95 minutes and 80 minutes respectively. The Leader of the House in Senate attended the sitting for two hours and 43 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition in Senate was present for an hour and 20 minutes.
  • Eighty-seven legislators (20% of the total membership of 446 – 342 in NA and 104 in Senate) were present at the outset of the sitting while 154 (35%) were there at the adjournment. A maximum of 219 members (49%) were observed to be present at one point during the sitting.
  • The Parliamentary Leaders in the National Assembly of PTI, APML, PML and AMLP did not attend the sitting. Similarly, Senate’s Parliamentary Leaders of MQM and JI were not present.
  • Nine minority lawmakers attended the sitting.
  • Twenty-two legislators applied for leave.

Output

  • Tabled by Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs and Statistics, the Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution for unequivocal and unwavering resolve to uphold the supremacy of parliament, constitution.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition winded up the political debate in the joint session while four lawmakers-one each of JI, ANP, PTI and an Independent candidate – took part in the debate that continued for two hours and 16 minutes.

Order and Institutionalization

  • One point of order consumed 13 minutes of the sitting time.
  • MQM lawmakers walked out from the sitting at 1435 hours, demanding to set up new administrative units in Sindh.

Transparency

  • Information on members’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.

This publication has been prepared with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. This Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Parliament proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI); a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions excepted.