ISLAMABAD, April 01, 2010: Low attendance marked the Fourteenth sitting of the 20th session that met for 01 hour and 55 minutes, leaving most of the agenda on the Orders of the Day unaddressed, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet of 20th Session of the National Assembly Proceedings.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 1 Hours and 55 Minutes.
- The fourteenth sitting started at 1055 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 55 minutes.
- The Speaker and Deputy Speaker were present during the sitting and chaired the House for 33 and 82 Minutes, respectively.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 33 minutes. However, the Leader of Opposition remained absent.
- Parliamentary leaders of MQM and PPPS were present, while the leaders of PML, MMAP, ANP, NPP, BNPA and PMLF remained absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, MQM, MMAP, ANP and PPPS were present while Chief Whips of NPP, BNPA and PMLF were absent.
- Five members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- A total of 92 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 54 members were present at the end of the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices on the Orders of the Day. The House took none of them.
- A total of 13 questions were listed on the agenda to be taken up during the Question Hour. However, only 5 questions were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
- There was one bill on the Orders of the Day [The National Defence University Bill, 2009] which was not taken up by the House.
Order and institutionalization
- 30 Points of Order were raised, taking up 67 minutes of the House proceedings. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
- There was one Question of Personal Privilege raised by a member of PPPP on the issue of “Launching defamation campaign against him by publishing advertisement”. The issue was sent to the Committee of Rules and Procedures.
- There was no Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day.
- There were two instances of boycott or walkout by members of PMLN and Journalists on the issues of ‘price hike in Petroleum commodities’ and ‘Manhandling of Journalists by the doctors of Jinnah Hospital, Lahore’, respectively.
- 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
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