House debates Constitution [Eighteenth Amendment] Bill, 2010 for 3 Hours and 57 Minutes

ISLAMABAD, April 6, 2010: The 21st Session of the National Assembly started here on April 6, 2010 with 116 members present at the outset. The Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Bill, 2010 was laid before the House, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on First Sitting of 21st Session of the National Assembly Proceedings.

The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:

Members’ participation in House proceedings

  • The National Assembly met for 04 hours and 56 minutes.
  • The first sitting started at 1635 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by 35 minutes.
  • The House took two breaks of 20 minutes and 21 minutes on the account of prayers.
  • The Speaker of the House chaired the sitting for 175 minutes, while the Deputy Speaker chaired the remaining 80 minutes.
  • The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 92 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 77 minutes.
  • Parliamentary leaders of MQM, ANP, PMLF and PPPS were present, while the leaders of PML, NPP, MMAP and BNPA remained absent.
  • The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, MQM, ANP, MMAP, ANP, PPPS and PMLF were present, while chief whips of NPP and BNPA were absent.
  • Eight members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
  • A total of 116 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 75 members at the end of the sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • There were 2 Calling Attention Notices on the Orders of the Day. Both the CANs were deferred.
  • There was no Question Hour session as today was a Private Members’ Day.


  • There were four bills on the Orders on the Day. However, the House only took up one bill [The Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Bill, 2010] for discussion. The Bill was discussed for 237 minutes.

Order and institutionalization

  • 1 Point of Order was raised, taking up 2 minutes of the House proceedings. However, it didn’t require Speaker’s ruling.
  • There was no Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day.
  • There was no instance of Protest, Boycott or Walkout.


  • 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