Ministers’ absence Deputy Speaker suspended NA proceedings for 15 minutes

ISLAMABAD, May 7, 2010: The Fifth sitting of the 22nd session was marked by low attendance and suspension of proceedings for 15 minutes by the Deputy Speaker due to absence of relevant ministers, who were to be present to respond the questions, listed on agenda. The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 13 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Fifth 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 02 hours.
  • The Fifth sitting started at 1043 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 43 minutes.
  • The House proceedings were suspended by the Deputy Speaker for 15 minutes when he noticed that some ministers were not present in the House to respond to questions during question hour. The House proceedings resumed after 20 minutes.
  • The Speaker of the House chaired the sitting for 29 minutes while the remaining part of the proceedings was chaired by Deputy Speaker.
  • The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 13 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition remained absent.
  • Parliamentary leaders of PML, MQM, ANP, NPP, MMAP, and BNPA were absent, while only the leaders of PPPS and PMLF were present
  • The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, MQM PPPS and PMLF were present, while the chief whips of PML, MMAP, ANP, NPP and BNPA were absent.
  • Nine members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
  • A total of 46 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. None was taken up by the House.
  • A total of 21 questions were listed on the agenda to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only 7 questions were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.


  • There was no legislative business on the Orders of the Day.

Order and institutionalization

  • There were 9 Points of Orders raised during the sitting, which consumed 36 minutes of the proceedings.
  • 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