ISLAMABAD, December 4, 2014: Starting 22 minutes behind schedule, the 7th sitting of the ongoing National Assembly session was marked by low attendance of Members as 45 were present at the outset of the sitting while 65 were there at the adjournment, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The quorum was visible 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 11 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1122 hours against the scheduled time of 1100 hours, witnessing a delay of 22 minutes.
- The Speaker presided over the sitting for 69 minutes while remaining proceedings were chaired by a Member of Panel of Chairpersons.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of AMLP, JI, PkMAP, MQM, ANP, QWP and PML-Z attended the sitting.
- Forty-five members (13% of the total membership – 340) were present at the outset while 65 (19%) at the adjournment. A maximum of 138 members were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- Nine minority members attended the sitting.
- Fourteen members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- An MQM lawmaker spoke on the President’s Address to the joint session of the Parliament on June, 2, 2014 for 10 minutes.
- Ten out of 38 starred questions (requiring oral replies) were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministries. Additionally, 15 supplementary questions were asked by Members.
- Jointly sponsored by five PML-N Members, the House took up a CAN regarding no decrease in prices of daily use items despite reduction in the rates of petrol and diesel. The second taken up CAN, moved by an ANP lawmaker, was related to non-payment of salaries to the employees of National Vocational and Technical Education Commission (NVTEC) from the last eight months.
Order and Institutionalization
- Members spoke on eight points of order for 25 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.
- JI Members staged a walkout against the police torture on blind protesters in Lahore.
- ‘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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