Attendance remains low in third sitting of 19th session

Sitting No. 3 of Session No. 19 of the National Assembly held on Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The third sitting of the Nineteenth Session of the National Assembly was also marked by the low attendance of the members, though the quorum was not pointed out during the course of sitting, reports the Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet on National Assembly Proceedings.

The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:


  • Order 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.

Members’ participation in House proceedings

  • The National Assembly met for 04 hours and 40 minutes.
  • The third sitting started at 1635 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by 35 minutes.
  • The House took a 35-minute break for prayers.
  • The Speaker of the House was not present during the sitting.
  • The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were present during the sitting.
  • Parliamentary leaders of PML, PPPP, MQM and MMAP were present during the course of the sitting, while the leaders of ANP, NPP, PPPS, PMLF and BNPA remained absent.
  • Eight Members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
  • A total of 47 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while a total of 63 members were present at the end of the sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • There were 2 Calling Attention Notices on the Order of the Day. The House took both CANs.
  • The Calling Attention Notices taken up by the House were directed to the Cabinet Division and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  •  One CAN was forwarded by five PPPP members while the other was tabled by three PML legislators.
  • There was no Question and Answer session in the sitting.


  • The sole Bill, mentioned in Order of the Day, was not taken up by the House in Wednesday’s sitting.

Order and institutionalization

  • 28 Points of Order were raised. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
  • The House debated the Adjournment Motion on ‘The conviction of Dr Aafia Siddiqui by a US Court’ for 55 minutes.
  • MQM members walked out of the House to protest the statement of PPPP legislator Nabil Gabol regarding an assassination plot against him.

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