ISLAMABAD, August 10, 2011: The National Assembly met for two hours and nine minutes with low Members’ attendance in the eighth sitting of the ongoing 33rd session. A total of 92 Members were present at the outset, while 84 were present when the sitting was adjourned. The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, but it was not pointed out by any of the Members.
Approximately 63% of the sitting time was spent on the debate on the law and order situation prevailing in the country, especially in Karachi and Quetta.
A total of 16 Points of Order were also raised during the sitting. However, none of these POs attracted the Speaker’s ruling
The Prime Minister attended the sitting’s proceedings for 40 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was absent. The Parliamentary Leader of the PPPS was the only one present, while the leaders of other parliamentary parties remained absent.
The parliamentary party of the ANP staged a five-minute token walkout against the resumption of LG system in Sindh.
Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and nine minutes.
- The eighth sitting started at 1407 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1300 hours. The House proceedings started late by 67 minutes.
- The Speaker of the House chaired the initial 20 minutes of the sitting, while the remaining sitting time was presided over by A Member of Panel of Chairpersons. The Deputy Speaker was not present.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 40 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent.
- The Parliamentary Leader of the PPPS was the only one present, while the leaders of the PML, MMAP, ANP, PMLF, MQM NPP, and BNPA were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, ANP, MMAP and MQM were present, while the chief whips of PML, NPP, PMLF and BNPA were absent.
- A total of 92 (27%) Members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 84 (25%) Members were present at the end of the sitting.
- Maximum presence of 174 Members (52%) was observed at one point of the sitting, when the Prime Minister was present.
- Five Members applied for leave of absence from the sitting.
- A total of seven out of 10 minority Members were present during the 8th sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were no Calling Attention Notices listed on the Orders of the Day.
- The House debated upon the listed Motion Under Rule 259 for 81 minutes (63% of total sitting time).
- A total of seven Members spoke on the issue of the law and order situation prevailing in the country, particularly in Karachi and Quetta. Three PPPP Members took 41 minutes to speak on the issue, while two PMLN Members expressed their opinion on the issue for 18 minutes. Two Independent Members also took part in the debates and spoke on the issue for 22 minutes.
- There were no Bills listed on the Orders of the Day.
Order and Institutionalization
- A total of 16 Points of Order were raised, consuming 38 (29%) minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order raised by Members attracted Speaker’s ruling.
- The sitting witnessed a token walkout by Members of the ANP, against the resumption of Local Governance System in Sindh. The walkout lasted five minutes.
- 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.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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