ISLAMABAD, October 30, 2014: The National Assembly witnessed a walkout and a boycott by the opposition (except for MQM) and FATA lawmakers over alleged rowdy attitude of the Interior Minister and the planned privatization of OGDCL during the 8th sitting of 15th session on Thursday, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The opposition members (except for MQM), independent lawmakers of FATA, parliamentary leaders of QWP and BNP-A staged an 8-minute walkout over the planned privatization of OGDCL. They returned to the House after holding talks with the Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination, the Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan and the Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan and the State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs.
The opposition lawmakers boycotted the proceedings over the Interior Minister’s attitude and accused him of not listening to their point of view as he was seen leaving the House after responding to a point of order regarding the torture of OGDCL workers in Islamabad.
An independent lawmaker protested within the House for not being allowed to speak on a point of order. He sat before the rostrum of the Chair and returned to his seat over the intervention of the Minister for SAFRON.
The House took up two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding the spread of breast cancer in the country and the setting up of an Israeli cultural stall in the International Islamic University Islamabad.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings:
- The National Assembly met for two hours and nine minutes.
- The sitting began at 1125 hours against the scheduled time of 1100 hours witnessing a delay of 25 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting as the Speaker was absent.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 29 minutes.
- Sixty-one lawmakers (18%) were present at the outset and 78 (23%) at the adjournment while a maximum of 126 members (37%) were observed to be present at one point during the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of JI, MQM, APML, PML-Z, ANP, QWP, BNP-A and PML-F attended the sitting.
- Seven minority members attended the sitting.
- Ten lawmakers applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up two CANs – the first regarding the spread of breast cancer in the country resulting in deaths of 40,000 women per annum while the second about the setting up of an Israeli cultural stall in a hall of International Islamic University Islamabad projecting its Prime Minister and terming Israel a land of prosperity and peace.
- The House took up eight out of 11 questions (requiring oral as well as written replies) while the members also asked 11 supplementary questions.
Order and Institutionalization
- Nineteen points of order consumed 49 minutes (38%) of the proceedings’ time.
- The opposition (except for MQM), independent lawmakers of FATA, parliamentary leaders of QWP and BNP-A staged an 8-minute walkout over the planned privatization of OGDCL.
- The opposition lawmakers boycotted the house proceedings over the Interior Minister’s attitude and accused him of not listening to their point of view.
- An independent lawmaker protested within the House for not being allowed to speak on a point of order.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
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This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. This Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI); a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions excepted
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