ISLAMABAD, October 31, 2014: The 15th session of the National Assembly was prorogued on Friday amid a boycott by the opposition lawmakers, except for MQM, over the planned privatization of OGDCL, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The opposition lawmakers attended the proceedings wearing black bands on their arms to protest the privatization of OGDCL and announced that they will continue their boycott. They left the house at 1125 hours and did not return until the session’s prorogation. The MQM lawmakers did not participate in the boycott.
The last and 9th sitting witnessed low attendance as 74 members (22%) were present at the start, 32 (9%) at the end and a maximum of 106 (31 %) at one point during the sitting. The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
The House offered fatiha for army personnel who embraced martyrdom in the ongoing military operation against terrorists in North Waziristan Agency and for the relatives of lawmakers passed away during the last week.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 34 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1105 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours witnessing a delay of 35 minutes.
- The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker attended the sitting.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- Seventy-four members (22%) were present at the outset, 32 (9%) at the end while a maximum of 106 (31%) at one point during the sitting.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of ANP, JI, BNP, MQM and APML attended the sitting.
- Six minority members attended the sitting.
- Sixteen lawmakers applied for leave.
- The Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Chairperson presented a periodical report for th period of November 2013 to October 2014.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up two out of 13 starred questions (requiring oral as well as written replies) while the members also asked five supplementary questions.
- The House did not take up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) regarding the smuggling of substandard tea from India and the withdrawal of subsidy on essential items at utility stores.
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers spoke on 27 points of order consuming 62 minutes (66%) of the proceedings’ time.
- The opposition lawmakers except for MQM boycotted the sitting to protest the planned privatization of OGDCL.
- Orders of the Day was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
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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 excepted
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