ISLAMABAD, January 7, 2015: Starting 25 minutes behind schedule, the sixth sitting of the National Assembly’s 17th session witnessed continuation of debate on the terrorist attack at a school in Peshawar, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
Five lawmakers participated in the debate for 73 minutes. A QWP lawmaker spoke for 29 minutes, followed by an independent member and a PTI lawmaker (15 minutes each). In addition, one member each from MQM and ANP spoke for eight minutes and six minutes respectively.
The House took up two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding CDA’s failure to maintain government buildings and discontinuation of PIA flights to Hyderabad.
Only 49 lawmakers (14%) were present at the start of the sitting and 52 (15%) at the time of adjournment. The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the members.
The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for 43 minutes. Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 38 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1125 hours against the scheduled time of 1100 hours.
- The Deputy Speaker presided over the entire sitting as the Speaker was absent.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Opposition Leader was present for 43 minutes.
- The parliamentary leaders of ANP, APML, QWP, PkMAP, JI and PML-Z were present.
- Forty-nine members (14%) were present at the outset and 52 (15%) at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 128 members (37%) were seen at one point of the sitting.
- Four minority members attended the sitting.
- Four members applied for leave.
- State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs introduced the Patents (Amendment) Bill 2015 to amend the Patents Ordinance 2000. The bill was referred to the relevant committee.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Five lawmakers discussed a motion under Rule 259 regarding the deadly attack in Peshawar for 73 minutes. A QWP lawmaker spoke for 29 minutes, followed by an independent member and a PTI lawmaker (15 minutes each). In addition, one member each from MQM and ANP spoke for eight minutes and six minutes respectively.
- Nine out of 32 starred questions appearing on the agenda were answered by the relevant departments while the MNAs raised 21 supplementary questions.
- Sponsored by two female PML-N lawmakers, the House took up a CAN regarding CDA’s failure to maintain government buildings.
- Another CAN sponsored by MQM regarding discontinuation of PIA flights to Hyderabad was also taken up during the sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- One point of order consumed two minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- Lawmakers from FATA walked out of the House against the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor for not taking them on board in decisions regarding their region. They left the House at 1324 hours and did not return till the sittings’ adjournment.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to 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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