ISLAMABAD, August 1, 2011: The National Assembly met for an hour and 41 minutes during the first sitting of the 33rd Session on Monday, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on the National Assembly Proceedings.
The first sitting witnessed relatively better attendance of Members, than observed in the previous National Assembly sessions. A total of 111 Members present at the outset, while 114 were present when the sitting was adjourned. Maximum presence of 228 Members was observed at one point of the sitting, when the Prime Minister was present.
A total of 13 Points of Order were raised, consuming 78 minutes (77% of total sitting time). However, none of the Points of Orders attracted Speaker’s formal ruling.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 68 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent. The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, MMAP, NPP and PPPS were present, while the other leaders of parliamentary parties remained absent. The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 41 minutes.
- The first sitting started at 1754 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 54 minutes.
- The Speaker was not present during the proceedings. The entire sitting time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 68 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was absent.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, MMAP, NPP and PPPS were present, while the leaders of the ANP, MQM, PMLF and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PMLN, PML, MQM, ANP and MMAP were present, while the chief whips of the PMLF and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 111 (33%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 114 (33%) Members at the end of the sitting. Maximum presence of 228 Members (67%) was observed at one point of the sitting, when the Prime Minister was present.
- A total of six minority Members were present during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were two Calling Attention Notices on the Orders of the Day. The House did not take up any of the CANs.
- A total of 25 questions were listed to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only six were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
- A total of five Supplementary Questions were raised in the House during the first sitting.
- A Motion Under Rule 259 regarding the “deteriorating law and order condition in the country” was taken up by House. The debate on the motion is likely to start from the second sitting. This motion was not listed on the Orders of the Day.
- There were two bills listed on the Orders of the Day [The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (Regulation and Enforcement) Bill, 2011] and [the Private Power and Infrastructure Board Bill, 2010], which were not taken up by the House.
Order and Institutionalization
- A total of 13 Points of Order were raised, consuming 78 minutes (77%) of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- The sitting witnessed a walkout by the parliamentary parties of the MMAP, MQM and PMLN on the issue of violent killings in Karachi and Quetta. The walkout lasted 17 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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