ISLAMABAD, March 4, 2019: The National Assembly passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2018 on Monday while its proceeding remained suspended for more than three hours, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during sixth sitting of the eighth session:
- The House met for four hours and 10 minutes; however, the proceedings remained suspended for three hours and three minutes due to lack of quorum and prayer break.
- The proceedings started at 1618 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The Deputy Speaker presided over the entire sitting in the absence of the Speaker.
- The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader did not attend the sitting.
- As many as 56 lawmakers (16%) were present at the outset and 129 (38%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of GDA, JWP, PML-N and BAP attended the sitting.
- As many as six out of 10 minority lawmakers were present.
- Tabled by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, the House passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2018 with majority vote. The bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs on December 17, 2018. The bill seeks to authorize the Election Commission to constitute a bench of two members. Existing legal provisions allow a bench comprising at least three members only.
- Federal Minister for Defence Production introduced the Heavy Industries Taxila Board (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The bill was referred to the relevant committee for further consideration.
- The House did not discuss the Senate recommendations on the Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 and also skipped the consideration of the bill.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House did not take up the Motion under Rule 259 and Motion of Thanks to the President for his address to the Parliament.
- Tabled by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, the House passed a motion to defer the Private Members’ Agenda on March 5, 2019 and take up the government business instead.
Order and Institutionalization
- As many as seven lawmakers including the Minister for Foreign Affairs raised Points of Orders consuming 33 minutes. These POs were mainly related to a controversial statement by a federal minister.
- A PML-N lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1632 hours which led to the suspension of the proceedings for 53 minutes.
- The House was adjourned to meet again on March 5, 2019 (Tuesday) at 1600 hours.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Attendance of lawmakers was available to the media and observers.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly’s proceedings, conducted by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted.
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