ISLAMABAD, September 21, 2010: The second sitting of the 25th session was marked by low attendance of members, with only 42 members present at the beginning and 37 present at the end of the sitting.
National Assembly in this four-hour sitting took up five legislations and left most of the agenda for this Private Members’ Day unaddressed. Twenty-five Points of Orders (POs) were raised that took up 40 percent of the total sitting time.
None of the MQM members attended Tuesday’s sitting.
The low-attendance sitting witnessed a brief walkout by a FATA Member on ‘plight of FATA people due to militancy and military operation in the region’.
The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 3 hours and 56 minutes.
- The second sitting started at 1034 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 34 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 42 minutes, while the remaining 194 minutes were presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 45 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent.
- Only the Parliamentary Leaders of MMAP and PPPS were present, while the leaders of ANP, MQM, PML, PMLF, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN and PML were present, while the chief whips of MQM, ANP, PMLF, NPP, BNPA and MMAP were absent.
- A total of 42(12%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 37 (11%) members at the end of the sitting.
- A total of three members applied for leave to be absent from Tuesday’s sitting.
- As many as three out of 10 minority members were present during the 2nd sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices (CANs) on the Orders of the Day. The House took only one CAN, regarding “the spot fixing by some Pakistani cricket players in the UK”. The CAN was directed to the Ministry of Sports and was moved by five members of PMLN.
- There was no Question and Answer session as Tuesday’s sitting was a Private Members Day.
- There were seven Private Members Bills on the Orders of the Day. Out of these seven legislations five were taken up by the House and sent to respective Standing Committees, while one [The Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2010] was rejected by the House and the remaining one bill [The Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding (Amendment) Bill, 2010] was taken back by the mover.
Order and institutionalization
- 25 Points of Order was raised, consuming 101 minutes (40% of total sitting time) of the sitting. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- An adjournment motion was admitted on the issue of “Dr Afia Siddique case”. The debate on the issue will likely to start from the third sitting.
- There was an instance of a walkout by a FATA Member over ‘the plight of FATA people due to militancy and military operation in the region’. The walkout lasted three minutes.
- Orders of the Day were 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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