ISLAMABAD, September 12, 2011: The National Assembly met for two hours and 20 minutes during the only sitting of the 34th session on Monday, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on the National Assembly Proceedings.
The Members requested for an early prorogation of this session due the floods in rural Sindh, and rising cases of dengue virus in Punjab.
A total of 18 Points of Order were raised, which consumed 127 (90%) minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order raised attracted the chair’s formal ruling.
The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members, with 117 Members present at the outset and 75 present when the sitting was adjourned. The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, the lack of it was not pointed out by any of the Members.
The Prime Minister was not present, while the Leader of Opposition attended the proceedings of the 34th session for 58 minutes. The Parliamentary Leaders of the MMAP, ANP, NPP and PPPS were present, while leaders of other parliamentary parties remained absent. The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 20 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1854 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 114 minutes.
- The Speaker remained absent during the proceedings. The initial 54 minutes were chaired by a Member of Panel of Chairpersons, while the remaining time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the proceedings of the sitting, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 58 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the MMAP, ANP, NPP and PPPS were present, while the leaders of the PML, MQM, PMLF and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PMLN, MQM and ANP were present, while those of the PML, MMAP, BNPA and PMLF were absent.
- A total of 117 (34%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 76 (22%) Members at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 195 Members (57%) were present at one point during the sitting.
- As many as six out of 10 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.
- The Private Power and Infrastructure Board Bill, 2010 was not taken up during the sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- A total of 18 Points of Order were raised, consuming 127 (90%) minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order raised by Members attracted the chairs’ formal ruling.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts during the sitting.
- 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.
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