ISLAMABAD, September 16, 2020: The treasury and opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly locked horns over the rule related to the suspension of sitting due to lack of quorum for more than one hour and allowed continuity of the proceedings for only 19 percent of the sitting’s time, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet on Wednesday.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during third sitting of the 26th session:
- The National Assembly met for three hours and 17 minutes, while the proceedings remained suspended for two hours and 40 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1057 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours.
- The Speaker presided over the sitting for an hour and 49 minutes while rest of the proceedings was chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Leaders of the House (Prime Minister) and the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- Forty-seven (14%) lawmakers were present at the outset and 101 (30%) at the adjournment of sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of BAP, PML-N, PPPP and GDA attended the sitting.
- Six minority lawmakers were present.
- The House did not consider any regular agenda appearing on the ‘Order of the Day’.
- The House took up supplementary business and passed a motion for consideration of the Anti-Terrorism (3rd Amendment) Bill, 2020 in the Joint Sitting of Parliament. The bill has already been passed by the National Assembly, however, it did not sail through the Senate.
Order and Institutionalization
- Two lawmakers as well as Advisor to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs spoke on Points of Order for 16 minutes.
- A PML-N lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1108 hours following which the sitting remained suspended for an hour and 17 minutes. The Rule (5) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in National Assembly, 2007 states that the suspension of the business of the sitting shall not be for more than one hour on quorum issue.
- The House passed a motion moved by the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs under Rule 288 to suspend Rule (5) for consideration of the regular agenda following which the opposition protested for five minutes on the floor of the House and the sitting was again suspended for an hour and 23 minutes.
- Speaking on a Point of Order, Advisor to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs quoted Rule 288 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in National Assembly, 2007 and Article 55 (2) of the Constitution of Pakistan. Article 55 (2) says that “If at any time during a sitting of the National Assembly the attention of the person presiding is drawn to the fact that less than one-fourth of the total membership of the Assembly is present, he shall either adjourn the Assembly or suspend the meeting until at least one-fourth of such membership is present”.
- The House was adjourned to meet again on September 17, 2020 (Thursday) at 1100 hours.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Attendance of lawmakers was available to the media and observers.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted
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