ISLAMABAD, November 14, 2011: The National Assembly met for 55 minutes during the first sitting of the 36th Session on Monday, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on the National Assembly Proceedings.
The sitting was marked by low Members’ attendance, with only 41 Members present at the outset and 75 present when the sitting was adjourned. The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, the lack of it was not pointed out by any of the Parliamentarians.
A total of 12 Points of Order were raised, which consumed 87% of sitting time. None of these Points of Orders attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the proceedings of the first sitting.
The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 55 minutes.
- The first sitting started at 1655 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by 55 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the initial 35 minutes of the sitting, while remaining time was presided over by a Member of Panel of Chairpersons. The Speaker was not present during the sitting.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the proceedings.
- The parliamentary leaders of all parties remained absent during the first sitting.
- The chief whips of the ANP and PMLN were present, while those of other parliamentary parties remained absent.
- A total of 41 (12%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 75 (22%) Members at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 88 (26%) Members were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- As many as five out of 10 minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House did not take up any of the CANs.
- The House did not take up the Pakistan Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill, 2011 during the course of the sitting.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of 12 Points of Order were raised, consuming 48 minutes (87% of sitting time) of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- There were no instances of protests, walkouts or boycotts.
- 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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