ISLAMABAD, April 27, 2015: Starting 40 minutes behind the schedule, the fifth sitting of the National Assembly’s ongoing session was marked by low attendance of lawmakers, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
Thirty-four members (10%) were present at the start of the sitting and 31 (9%) at the time of adjournment. The Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader and most of the parliamentary leaders were absent.
The House unanimously adopted two resolutions to express solidarity with the families of those who lost their lives in a storm in Peshawar and to express sorrow over thousands of people killed in a massive earthquake in Nepal.
The Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources concluded the debate on a motion regarding petrol shortage and energy crisis in his nine-minute speech during the sitting.
The House took up a calling attention notice (CAN) regarding increasing number of haemophilia patients in the country. Another CAN regarding the cost-effectiveness of the Metro Bus Project in Islamabad was not taken up. A periodic report prepared by the Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan was also not presented.
Following are some key observations of the house proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for four hours and 10 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1640 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 46 minutes, the Deputy Speaker for 74 minutes and a member of the Panel of Chairpersons for 58 minutes.
- The House observed two prayer breaks for 72 minutes.
- The Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader did not attend the sitting.
- 34 members (10%) were present at the start and 31 (9%) at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 120 members (35%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of BNP, PkMAP, JUI-F, MQM, PML-Z, ANP and QWP were present.
- Six minority members attended the proceedings.
- Thirty-four members applied for leave.
- The House unanimously adopted two resolutions to express solidarity with the families of those who lost their lives in a storm in Peshawar and to express sorrow over thousands of people killed in a massive earthquake in Nepal.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Five out of 37 questions were taken up and responded by the relevant ministries/departments. In addition, the lawmakers raised 10 supplementary questions.
- The Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources concluded a debate on a motion regarding petrol shortage and energy crisis during his nine-minute speech.
- The House took up a calling attention notice (CAN) regarding increasing number of haemophilia patients in the country.
- Another CAN regarding the cost-effectiveness of the Metro Bus Project in Islamabad was not taken up.
Order and Institutionalization
- Forty-two points of order consumed 105 minutes (42%) of the sitting.
- Women parliamentarians walked out of the House for 66 minutes to protest the non-release of development funds for MNAs.
- ‘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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