ISLAMABAD, May 5, 2010: The third sitting of the 22nd session was marked by low attendance with 43 members present at the outset and 81 members at the end. The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 22 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 150 minutes, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Third Sitting of 22nd 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 03 hours and 42 minutes.
- The third sitting started at 1722 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 22 minutes.
- The House took a break of 28 minutes on the account of prayers.
- The Speaker of the House chaired the sitting for 113 minutes, while the Deputy Speaker chaired the remaining 81 minutes.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 22 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 150 minutes.
- Parliamentary leaders of PML, MQM, ANP, NPP, MMAP, PPPS and BNPA were absent, while only the leader of PMLF was present
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, ANP, PMLF, MMAP, and MQM were present, while the chief whips of PPPS, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- Thirteen members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- A total of 43 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 81 members at the end of the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices on the Orders of the Day. Both the CANs were taken up by the House.
- The first Calling Attention Notice taken up by the House was directed to the Ministry of Education regarding ‘delayed distribution of text books to the students of Government Schools just before the commencement of their examinations’ .This CAN was raised by 2 members of PMLN, 1 member of MQM and 1 member belonging to PML.
- The other CAN, taken up by the House was directed to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources regarding ‘financial crisis of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) due to non-recovery of dues of billions of rupees outstanding against its different clients’. This was raised by 3 members of PMLN.
- A total of 26 questions were listed on the agenda to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only 9 questions were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
- There was no bill on the Orders of the Day.
- There was one motion on the Orders of the Day [the Reports of the Public Accounts Committee for the years 1989-1990, 1991-1992 and 2005-2006] that was debated by the House. The discussion lasted 117 minutes.
Order and institutionalization
- There were no Points of Orders raised during the sitting.
- There was no Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day.
- There was no instance of walkout or boycott 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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