ISLAMABAD, October 5, 2011: The National Assembly met for three hours during the third sitting of the ongoing 35th session. The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members, with only 14 Members present at the outset and 31 were present when the sitting was adjourned.
The House continued debates on the energy crisis, load-shedding, price hike in petroleum products, dengue fever and other related issues. A total of 14 Members – five each of the PMLN and PPPP, one each of the MMAP, ANP, PPPS and one Independent Member – spoke on the issue for 164 minutes.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 31 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 51 minutes. The Parliamentary Leaders of the NPP and PPPS were the only ones present, whereas the leaders of other parliamentary parties did not attend the proceedings. The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for three hours.
- The third sitting started at 1038 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 38 minutes.
- The entire sitting time was presided over by a Member of Panel of Chairpersons. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were not present during the sitting.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 31 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 51 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the NPP and PPPS were the only ones present, while the leaders of the PML, ANP, PMLF, MQM, MMAP, and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PMLN and ANP were present, while the chief whips of the PML, MQM, MMAP, BNPA and PMLF were absent.
- A total of 14 (4%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 31 (9%) Members at the end of the sitting.
- Five Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- As many as eight out of 10 minority Members were present during the 3rd sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House continued debates on the energy crisis, load-shedding, price hike in petroleum products, dengue fever and other related issues.
- A total of 14 Members – five each of the PMLN and PPPP, one each of the MMAP, ANP, PPPS and one Independent Member – spoke on the issue for 164 minutes.
- There were no Bills on the Orders of the Day.
Order and institutionalization
- A total of two Points of Order were raised, consuming five minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- The sitting witnessed two walkouts by Members of the PMLN. On the first instance the parliamentary party walked out of the House for 30 minutes against the recent Quetta killings. On the other occurrence they protested against the load-shedding of electricity and price hike of petroleum products for nine minutes.
- Orders of the Day were 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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