ISLAMABAD, April 21, 2015: In a historic event to improve Pak-China relations, the President of People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping addressed the joint session of the Parliament on Tuesday, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The session started with the national anthems of both countries. The Chinese President addressed the House for 36 minutes. Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif spoke for nine minutes, while the National Assembly’s Opposition Leader addressed the sitting for two minutes.
The National Assembly’s Speaker delivered a note of thanks to Chinese president for his visit to Pakistan during his six-minute welcome address.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The joint session lasted 62 minutes.
- The session started at 0948 hours against the scheduled time of 0925 hours.
- The entire sitting was chaired by the National Assembly Speaker. The Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Senate Chairman and the Deputy Chairman attended the entire sitting.
- The Prime Minister and the National Assembly’s Opposition Leader attended the entire sitting. Similarly, the Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader in the Senate were also present for the entire sitting.
- 350 legislators (78% of the membership) were present at the start of the sitting.
- A maximum of 360 (81%) lawmakers were present at the time of adjournment.
- The parliamentary leaders of all parties except PML-F in the National Assembly were present.
- Eight non-Muslim MNAs attended the session.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The Chinese president addressed the House for 36 minutes. Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif spoke for nine minutes, while the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly addressed the sitting for two minutes.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
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This publication has been prepared with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and in no way reflect the views of the European Union. This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the parliamentary proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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