ISLAMABAD, November 28, 2014: Starting 20 minutes behind the schedule, the National Assembly continued to witness low attendance as only 39 legislators (11%) were present at the start and 48 (14%) at the adjournment of the third sitting of the ongoing 16th session on Friday, says Free and Fair Election Network in its daily factsheet.
The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the lawmakers in the House. The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for 66 minutes. In addition, the parliamentary leaders of PTI, PkMAP, PML, ANP, NP, NPP, AMLP and AJIP did not attend the sitting.
The House took up two calling attention notices (CANs) and 11 starred questions appearing on the agenda. Additionally, 13 supplementary questions were also raised in the sitting.
The following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings:
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 51 minutes.
- The sitting began at 1050 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours, witnessing a delay of 20 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting, while the Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 66 minutes.
- Thirty-nine lawmakers (11%) were present at the start of the sitting and 48 (14%) at the adjournment. A maximum of 108 members (32%) were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML-F, APML, MQM, BNP, JI, QWP, JUI-F and PML-Z attended the sitting, while the leaders of PTI, PkMAP, PML, ANP, AMLP, NP, NPP and AJIP were absent.
- Six minority members were present in the sitting.
- Sixteen members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up a calling attention notice (CAN) sponsored by four MQM lawmakers on NEPRA’s directives whereby reduction of electricity tariff is not applicable to Karachi Electric Consumers.
- Another CAN sponsored by five JUI-F lawmakers on sale/purchase of prohibited edible items was also taken up by the House.
- The House took up all 11 starred questions (requiring oral as well as written replies) appearing on the agenda which were responded by the relevant ministers. Additionally, 13 supplementary questions were raised in the sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- Five points of order consumed 16 minutes (14%) of the proceedings’ time.
- No protests/walkouts/boycotts were witnessed.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not shared with the observers or the public.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the lawmakers in the House.
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This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. This Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI); a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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