Low attendance in business-less Sixth Sitting of 19th Session

Sitting No. 6 of Session No. 19 of the National Assembly held on Monday, February 15, 2010

The Sixth Sitting of the Nineteenth Session that was marked with low attendance of the legislators did not dispose of any parliamentary business. The sitting, which started an hour and 17 minutes late, was marred by protest and walkout by PML-N members on the issue of appointment of judges, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on the National Assembly’s Proceedings.

The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:

Members’ participation in House proceedings

  • The National Assembly met for 03 hours and 18 minutes.
  • The sixth sitting started at 1717 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by one hour and 17 minutes.
  • The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were present during the sitting.
  • Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and relevant minister were present during the course of the sitting.
  • Parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PML-N, PML-F and PPP-S were present, while leaders of PML, MQM, MMAP, ANP and NPP remained absent.
  • 15 Members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
  • A total of 58 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 72 members at the end of the sitting.  

Representation and Responsiveness

  • There were 2 Calling Attention Notices (CAN) on the Orders of the Day. None was taken up.
  • A total of 25 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only 7 were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.


  • The House did not take up the only bill [National School of Public Policy Amendment Bill 2010] that was on the agenda for Monday’s sitting.

Order and institutionalization

  • 08 Points of Order were raised. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
  • There was one adjournment motion on the Orders of the Day, which was not taken up by the House.
  • PML-N parliamentary party staged a walkout on the issue of “appointment of Supreme Court Judges”. The walkout started at 1920 hours and lasted until the Speaker adjourned 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