ISLAMABAD, December 8, 2014: The Punjab Assembly continued to witness low attendance as only 4% (15) of the legislators were present at the start and 9% (35) at the adjournment of the second sitting of the 11th session on Monday, says Free and Fair Election Network in its daily factsheet.
The quorum was visibly lacking during the entire sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the lawmakers in the House. The Leader of the House, Opposition Leader and all except one parliamentary leaders were absent during the sitting.
Lawmakers from opposition parties including PML, PPPP and JI staged a six-minute walkout over mishandling of protesters in Faisalabad. Five out of 19 starred questions appearing on the agenda were answered by the relevant departments while 14 supplementary questions were also raised by the MPAs.
Following are some key observations of the proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:
- The Punjab Assembly met for an hour and 10 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1548 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours, witnessing a delay of 48 minutes.
- Fifteen members (4%) were present at the outset and 35 (9%) at the adjournment of the sitting. A maximum of 40 (11%) members were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader were absent.
- Only the JI parliamentary leader attended the sitting.
- Two minority members were present.
- None of the member applied for leave.
- Provincial Minister for Zakat & Ushr introduced the Parks and Horticulture Authority (Amendment) Bill 2014 which was referred to the relevant standing committee.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Five out of 19 starred questions appearing on the agenda were answered by the relevant departments while 14 supplementary questions were also raised by the MPAs.
- A PML-N lawmaker moved a privilege motion against TMA Kharian officials for holding a press conference against him. The motion was referred to the relevant committee.
Order and Institutionalization
- Lawmakers from the opposition parties including PML, PPPP and JI staged a six-minute walkout over mishandling with protestors in Faisalabad.
- Seven points of order consumed 11 minutes (16%) of the proceedings’ time.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
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This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization – a member organization of FAFEN
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