First Sitting of 19th Session Marked by low MNA Attendance

Sitting No. 1 of Session No. 19 of the National Assembly held on Monday, February 8, 2010

The Nineteenth Session of the National Assembly began with a very low attendance of members, though the quorum was not pointed out throughout the First Sitting that was held on Monday, 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 33 minutes.
  • The first sitting started at 1620 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by 20 minutes.
  • The House took a 40-minute break for prayers.
  • The Speaker of the House was not present during the sitting.
  • The Prime Minister was present during the sitting. However, the Leader of Opposition absent.
  • Parliamentary leaders PML, PPPP, MQM and MMAP were present during the course of the sitting, while the leaders of PMLN, ANP, NPP, PPPS, PMLF and BNPA remained absent.
  • Nine Members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
  • A total of 31 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while a total of 44 members were present at the end of the sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • There were 2 Calling Attention Notices on the Order of the Day. However, the House took only one such notice. The other notice was deferred.
  • The Calling Attention Notice taken up by the house was directed to the Ministry of Health.
  •  The two notices listed on the agenda CANs were put forward by 5 Members of PPPP and 4 Members of PML. Both the CANs were addressed to the Ministry of Health.
  • There was no Question and Answer session in the sitting.


  • The House took up the Banking Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2009, whose prime mover, the Minister for Finance and Revenue, was not present during the sitting.

Order and institutionalization

  • 22 Points of Order were raised. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
  • The House debated the Adjournment Motion on the Karachi Suicide Killings for 2 hours and 39 minutes.
  • There were no instances of boycotts, walkouts or protest during the first sitting of the Nineteenth Session.

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.