Attendance remains low in the Eighth sitting of NA

ISLAMABAD, May 12, 2010: National Assembly continued debating Presidential Address in Eighth sitting of the 22nd session, which was marked by low attendance. The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 27 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was absent, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Eighth 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 05 hours and 04 minutes.
  • The Eighth sitting started at 1616 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by 16 minutes.
  • The Speaker of the House was not present during the sitting. The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for 155 minutes. Nawab Muhammad Yousaf Talpur, a Member of Penal of Chairperson chaired the sitting for 40 minutes, while the remaining 49 minutes were chaired by Nadeem Afzal Gondal.
  • The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 27 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition remained absent.
  • Parliamentary leader of only PMLF was present while the leaders of PML, PPPS, MQM, ANP, NPP, MMAP, and BNPA were absent.
  • The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, MQM, ANP, MMAP, PML and PMLF were present, while the chief whips of NPP and BNPA were absent.
  • Twelve members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
  • A total of 20 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 32 members at the end of the sitting.
  • The House took two breaks of 34 minutes and 26 minutes on the account of prayers.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • There were two Calling Attention Notices on the Orders of the Day. Both the CANs were taken up by the House. The CANs were tabled 5 members of PPPP and 5 members of PMLN.
  •  A total of 23 questions were listed on the agenda to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only 6 questions were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
  • As many as 7 Members spoke on Presidential Address for 144 minutes.

Order and institutionalization

  • There were 7 Points of Orders raised during the sitting, which consumed 12 minutes of the proceedings.
  • There was no instance of walkout or boycott during the sitting


  • 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