ISLAMABAD, February 2, 2015: Starting 40 minutes behind the schedule, the first sitting of the National Assembly’s 18th session was marked by low attendance of lawmakers and unanimous adoption of a resolution to condemn the bomb blast in Shikarpur on Friday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
Only 80 members (23%) were present at the start of the sitting and 36 (11%) at the time adjournment. A maximum of 138 members (40%) were present at one point of the sitting. The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for less than half of the sitting time.
The House suspended the agenda on Orders of the Day and debated the deadly attack in Shikarpur. Twenty lawmakers participated in the debate for three hours and 37 minutes.
A motion to suspend the agenda on private members’ day in order to discuss the petrol crisis was also passed by the House.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for four hours and 18 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1640 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Speaker was present for 58 minutes.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for 110 minutes.
- Eighty lawmakers (23%) were present at the start and 26 (11%) at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 138 members (40%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of APML, JI, MQM, BNP, AMLP, QWP, PML-Z and ANP were present.
- Seven minority members attended the sitting.
- No member applied for leave.
- The House unanimously adopted a resolution moved by the Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination to condemn the deadly attack at an Imambargah in Shikarpur on Friday.
- The Offences in Respect of Banks (Special Courts) (Amendment) Bill 2015 was not introduced during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House suspended the agenda on Orders of the Day and debated the deadly attack under a motion moved by PPPP legislators. Twenty lawmakers participated in the debate for three hours and 37 minutes.
- Two calling attention notices regarding clearance of 232 vehicles on fake documents and unscheduled load shedding in the country were left unaddressed during the sitting.
- Similarly, a motion under Rule 259 to discuss the petrol crisis was not taken up. Another commenced motion regarding problems of IDPs was also left unaddressed.
Order and Institutionalization
- Four points of order consumed seven minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- ‘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.
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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 in no way 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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