ISLAMABAD, October 4, 2011: The National Assembly met for two hours and five minutes in the 2nd sitting of the ongoing 35th session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members with only 18% of the legislators present at the outset of the sitting and 12% at the end.
The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of quorum was not pointed out by any Member of the National Assembly.
A total of 22 Points of Order were raised, which consumed 65% of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted the Speaker’s formal ruling.
The House continued to debate on the load shedding of electricity, price hike in petroleum products and dengue fever.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 54 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was not present. The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, NPP and BNPA were the only ones present, whereas the leaders of other parliamentary parties did not attend the sitting’s proceedings:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and five minutes.
- The second sitting started at 1110 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 70 minutes.
- The Speaker was not present during the proceedings. A Member of Panel of Chairperson chaired the sitting for 37 minutes, while the remaining sitting time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 54 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was not present.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of PML, NPP and BNPA were present, while the leaders of MQM, MMAP, PMLF, ANP and PPPS were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, and PML were present, while the chief whips of MQM, MMAP, ANP and PMLF were absent.
- A total of 60 (18%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 42 (12%) Members at the end of the sitting. Maximum presence of 128 Members (37%) was observed at one point of the sitting.
- A total of 12 Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as eight Minority Members were present during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House continued debates on power outages, price hike in petroleum products, and dengue fever.
- Two Members – one each of PMLN and PPPP – spoke on the issue for 37 minutes.
- There were no bills on the Orders of the Day.
Order and Institutionalization
- A total of 22 Points of Order were raised, consuming 81 minutes (65% of total sitting time) of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Order raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- The sitting witnessed two instances of walkouts. On first instance, a Member of the PPPP staged a walkout against the killings in Quetta, while on the second occurrence Members of the MQM and PMLN protested against the load shedding of electricity and price hike of petroleum products.
- 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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