ISLAMABAD, January 23, 2015: The third sitting of the Sindh Assembly’s 18th session was marked by low attendance of lawmakers – with 39 MPAs (23%) present at the start and 71 (42%) at the time of adjournment, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the members.
None of the agenda items appearing on the Orders of the Day were taken up during the sitting. These included five calling attention notices (CANs), a privilege motion, an adjournment motion and the Sindh Allied Health Professional Council Bill 2014
The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for the entire sitting.
Following are some key observations of the assembly business:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Sindh Assembly met for an hour and 17 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1105 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The entire sitting was chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for the entire sitting.
- Thirty-nine members (23%) were present at the start of the sitting, while a maximum of 71 (42%) MPAs were seen at the time of adjournment.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML-F and MQM were present.
- Three minority members attended the proceedings.
- The Sindh Allied Health Professional Council Bill 2014 was not taken up despite being on the agenda.
Representation and Responsiveness
- All the five starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up and responded by the relevant ministry. In addition, the MPAs raised 31 supplementary questions.
- A Question of Privilege raised by a PPPP legislator was not taken up during the sitting.
- An adjournment motion moved by an MQM member was also not taken up.
- None of the five CANs appearing on Order of the Day were taken up.
Order and Institutionalization
- Members spoke on four Points of Order (POs) that consumed five minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- PML-N and PML-F members staged a protest for eight minutes against the non-implementation of sugarcane prices fixed by the government.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the members, observers and others.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the members.
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The daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Sindh Assembly proceedings conducted by Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) – a member organization of FAFEN.
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