ISLAMABAD, March 17, 2010: The low attendance fifth sitting of the 20th session met for three hours and twenty two minutes, with 80 members present at the outset and 72 members at the end. The Quorum was lacking at various stages of the sitting, but the lack of quorum was not pointed out by any of the legislators, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Fifth Sitting of 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 03 hours and 22 minutes.
- The first sitting started at 1702 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by 62 minutes.
- The Speaker of the House and the Deputy Speaker were not present during the sitting. The sitting was chaired by Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada (Panel of Chairperson).
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 45 minutes. However, the Leader of Opposition was absent.
- Parliamentary leaders of PML, MQM, PMLF and PPPS were present, while the leaders of NPP, MMAP, ANP and BNPA remained absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PML, ANP, PPPS, MQM, PMLF, and MMAP were present, while the Chief Whips of PMLN, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- Eleven members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- A total of 80 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 72 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 both CANs.
- The Calling Attention Notices taken up by the House were directed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Ministry of Finance and Revenue.
- A total of 30 questions were listed on the agenda to be taken up during the Question Hour. However, only 9 questions were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
- The only bill on the Orders of the Day [State Bank of Pakistan Act, 1956(Amendment) Bill, 2010] was taken up by the House.
Order and institutionalization
- 10 Points of Order were raised, taking up 44 minutes of the House proceedings. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
- There was one admitted Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day, regarding the “Bomb Blasts in Special Investigation Agency (SIA) Building, Lahore” which was discussed for 44 minutes.
- There was no instance of Protest, Boycott or Walkout.
- 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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