ISLAMABAD, December 5, 2014: Starting 10 minutes behind schedule, the 8th sitting of the ongoing National Assembly session concluded debate on the presidential address to the parliament amid low attendance on Friday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
With the presence of 18 lawmakers (5%) at the outset and 45 (13%) at the adjournment, the State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs winded up the debate on the President’s Address to the joint session of the Parliament on June, 2, 2014 during his 19 minutes speech. Earlier, JI lawmaker also shared his views about it and spoke for six minutes.
The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the Members. The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 12 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1040 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours, witnessing a delay of 10 minutes.
- The Speaker presided over the sitting for 23 minutes while remaining proceedings were chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of MQM, PkMAP, APML, JI, AMLP, ANP and QWP attended the sitting.
- Eighteen members (5% of the total membership – 340) were present at the outset while 45 (13%) at the adjournment. A maximum of 122 members were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- Ten minority members attended the sitting.
- Nineteen members applied for leave.
- Chairman Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control presented the report on Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Bill, 2014 to rationalize and reorganize the local government system in the Federal Capital.
Representation and Responsiveness
- State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs winded up the debate on the President’s Address to the joint session of the Parliament on June, 2, 2014 during his 19 minutes speech. Earlier, JI lawmaker shared his views about it and spoke for six minutes.
- Eleven out of 34 starred questions (requiring oral replies) were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministries. Additionally, 17 supplementary questions were asked by Members.
- Sponsored by two female PML-N Members, the House took up a calling attention notice (CAN) regarding land sliding on Thandiani-Patan Khurd National Highway and non-removal of the stuff/material there from for the last 10 years.
- Another taken up CAN, moved by five MQM lawmakers, was regarding non-regularization of the employees of the Federal Government autonomous and semi-autonomous departments despite many years of service at their credit.
Order and Institutionalization
- Members spoke on 12 points of order for 21 minutes. However, none of the points of order attracted the Chair’s ruling. Unless the Chair gives a formal ruling on a point of order, it does not lead to any assembly output.
- There was no instance of protest, boycott or walkout.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the Members, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.
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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 are excepted.
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