ISLAMABAD, March 19, 2010: The Seventh Sitting of the 20th Session was marked by low attendance of Legislators with 65 members present at the outset and 80 members present at the end. Although the Quorum was lacking at various stages of the sitting, this was not pointed out by any of the members, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on the Seventh Sitting of the 20th 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 2 Hours.
- The seventh sitting started at 1051 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 51 minutes.
- The Speaker of the House chaired the sitting for 76 minutes, while Mr. Abdul Qadir Patel (Panel of Chairpersons) chaired for 44 minutes. The Deputy Speaker remained absent during the course of the sitting.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 20 minutes. However, the Leader of Opposition was absent.
- Parliamentary leaders of PML and PPPS were present, while the leaders of NPP, MMAP, MQM, PMLF, ANP and BNPA remained absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, MQM, MMAP, ANP and PPPS, and were present, while the Chief Whips of PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- Six members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- A total of 65 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 80 members remained present at the end of the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices on the Orders of the Day. The House took up one CAN.
- The Calling Attention Notice taken up by the House was directed to the Ministry of Education. The other CAN was directed to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping.
- The taken up CAN co-sponsored by 2 members belonging to PPPP, 2 members of MQM and 1 member belonging to PML.
- A total of 27 questions were listed on the agenda to be taken up during the Question Hour. However, only 8 questions were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
- The only bill on the Orders of the Day [The Gwadar Port Authority Bill, 2010] was introduced in the House.
- There were 2 Ordinances [The National Vocational and Technical Education Commission Ordinance, 2009 (No. XXXVI of 2009)], [The National Database and Registration Authority (Amendment) Ordinance, 2009 (No. LIX of 2009)] on the Orders of the Day, which were taken up by the House.
Order and institutionalization
- 28 Points of Order were raised, taking up 32 minutes of the House proceedings. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
- There was no Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day
- There was no instance of Protest, Boycott or Walkout during the sitting.
- 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
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