ISLAMABAD August 5, 2011: The National Assembly met for an hour and 40 minutes during the fifth sitting of the ongoing 33rd session. The sitting which started 25 minutes late witnessed low attendance of Members, with only 28 Members present at the beginning and 85 present when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum of 118 Members was observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
The House continued debate on the Motion Under Rule 259 regarding law and order situation prevailing the country, particularly in Karachi and Quetta. A total of six Members of the House – two each of the PMLN and MQM, and one each of the PPPP and MMAP – spoke on the motion for 93 minutes.
The Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition did not attend the proceedings of the sitting. The Parliamentary Leaders of the MQM, NPP and PPPS were the only ones present, whereas the leaders of other parliamentary parties did not attend the sitting’s proceedings. The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 40 minutes.
- he fifth sitting started at 1055 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1030 hours. The House proceedings started late by 25 minutes.
- The Speaker was not present during the sitting. The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for 50 minutes, while the remaining sitting time was presided over by a Member of Panel of Chairpersons.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the proceedings of the 5th sitting.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the MQM, PPPS and NPP were the only ones present, while the leaders of the PML, MMAP, ANP, PMLF and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PMLN, MQM and ANP were present, while the chief whips of the MMAP, BNPA, PML and PMLF were absent.
- A total of 28 (8%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 85 (25%) members at the end of the sitting. Maximum presence of 118 Members (35%) was observed at one point of the sitting.
- As many as four out of 10 minority members were present during the 5th sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were no Calling Attention Notices listed on the Orders of the Day.
- The House continued debate on the Motion Under Rule 259 regarding law and order situation prevailing the country, particularly in Karachi and Quetta.
- A total of six Members of the House – two each of the PMLN and MQM, and one each of the PPPP and MMAP – spoke on the motion for 93 minutes.
- There was no Bills on the Orders of the Day
Order and institutionalization
- No Points of Order were raised during the course of the fifth sitting.
- There were no instances of protests, walkouts or boycotts during the fifth sitting
- 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 National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a Member organization of FAFEN
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