ISLAMABAD, December 8, 2014: Starting 25 minutes behind schedule, the ninth and last sitting of the National Assembly’s 16th session on Monday witnessed a discussion on problems being faced by the internally displaced persons (IDPs), says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
State Minister for Frontier Regions moved a motion under Rule 259 to discuss the issue in which nine lawmakers – two from PML-N and one each from PPPP, QWP JI, MQM and PTI in addition to two independent members – took part for two hours and three minutes.
With the presence of 30 lawmakers (9%) at the outset and 53 (16%) at the adjournment, the State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs moved a motion to suspend the question hour to debate the IDPs’ issue which was passed by the House.
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 Leader of the Opposition was present for 55 minutes.
Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:
- The National Assembly met for three hours.
- The sitting started at 1625 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours, witnessing a delay of 25 minutes.
- The House observed a prayer break that lasted 22 minutes.
- The Speaker presided over the sitting for 48 minutes while remaining proceedings were chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 55 minutes.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML-F, PkMAP, QWP, APML and JI attended the sitting.
- Thirty members (9%) were present at the outset while 53 (16%) were present at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 114 members were seen at one point of the sitting.
- Eight minority members attended the sitting.
- None of the members applied for leave.
- The Patents (Amendment) Bill 2014 aimed to amend the Patents Ordinance 2000 was not introduced in the House despite being on the agenda.
Representation and Responsiveness
- State Minister for Frontier Regions moved a motion under Rule 259 for a discussion on issues faced by internally displaced persons (IDPs).
- Nine lawmakers – two belonging to PML-N and one each from PPPP, QWP JI, MQM and PTI in addition to two independent members – participated in the debate on the motion that continued for two hours and three minutes.
- The House did not take up two calling attention notices (CANs). The first CAN was regarding illegal occupation of a site allocated for Islamabad District Hospital near Tramri Chowk while other was related to unprecedented decline in foreign direct investment in recent months.
Order and Institutionalization
- Members spoke on four points of order (POs) for 18 minutes. However, none of the POs attracted the Chair’s ruling.
- There were no protests/boycotts/ walkouts.
- ‘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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