National Assembly Leaves 38% Agenda Unaddressed during 46th session

  • Five sittings adjourned due to lack of quorum
  • The Right of Access to Information Bill remains pending

ISLAMABAD, September 25, 2017: The National Assembly left its 38% agenda unaddressed amidst low attendance of lawmakers and frequent adjournments due to lack of quorum during 46th session, observes the Free and Fair Election Network in its session report based on the direct observation of the House proceedings.

The Lower House managed to take up 62% of the business listed on the Orders of the Day. The remaining agenda items were either dropped due to absence of the concerned lawmakers or were not taken up due to the suspension or adjournment of the House proceedings owing to lack of quorum. Five out of the session’s nine sittings were adjourned due to this reason.

The House passed three bills, referred ten legislative proposals to the committees, adopted six resolutions, took up five Calling Attention Notices and held discussions on two motions regarding violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and excessive electricity billing.

The session comprised nine sittings spanning over 21 hours and 42 minutes. Each sitting, on average, continued for two hours and 24 minutes. The Prime Minister did not attend any sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present in five sittings.

According to official record of the plenary’s attendance records, 173 (50%) lawmakers attended each sitting on an average. The highest attendance – 211 members present – was recorded during last sitting while the lowest attendance – 98 members present – was during sixth sitting. As per the headcounts conducted by FAFEN at commencement and conclusion of the sittings, on average 49 lawmakers were present at the commencement and 47 at the adjournment of every sitting.

The Speaker of the House was present in six sittings and presided over 21% of the proceedings (four hours and 38 minutes) while the Deputy Speaker was present in seven sittings and chaired 44% of the proceedings (nine hours and 37 minutes). Nearly 21 percent of the proceedings (four hours and 35 minutes) was presided over by the members of Panel of Chairpersons while the remaining time (two hours and 52 minutes) was lost in suspensions due to prayer break or lack of quorum.

Among leaders of 18 parliamentary parties, the leaders of NP and APML attended nine and eight sittings respectively. The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, AJIP, PML-Z, and PkMAP were present in seven sittings each, while the leaders of ANP and JI attended six sittings each.  The parliamentary leaders of PTI and PML-F did not attend any of the sittings.

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