ISLAMABAD, April 24, 2015: The 4th sitting of the ongoing National Assembly’s session witnessed a walkout by opposition lawmakers against the unsatisfactory response by the relevant minister during the Question Hour, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting was also marked by low attendance of members as 48 (14%) were present at the outset of the sitting while 69 (20%) were there at the adjournment. Moreover, the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the parliamentary leaders of APML, PML-F, PTI, MQM, JUI-F, PML, PML-Z, NPP, NP, AMLP and AJIP did not attend the sitting.
The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. It was once pointed out by a PPPP lawmaker at 1131 hours. After count, the Speaker adjourned the sitting for 24 minutes. On the second instance, the sitting was adjourned by the Deputy Speaker.
The entire agenda was left unaddressed which included two calling attention notices (CANs) about increasing number of patients of haemophilia and cost effectiveness of Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Project. It also included presentation of a periodical report and motion under Rule 259 for debate on petrol shortage and the ongoing energy crisis.
Following are some key observations of the house proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 15 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1046 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 49 minutes while the Deputy Speaker presided over the proceedings for two minutes.
- The proceedings remained suspended for 24 minutes.
- The Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader did not attend the sitting.
- Forty-eight members (14% of the total membership – 342) were present at the outset while 69 (20%) at the adjournment. A maximum of 90 members (26%) were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of JI, BNP, PkMAP, QWP and ANP attended the sitting.
- Four minority members were present.
- The Chair did not announce status about leave applications.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House did not take up two CANs regarding increasing number of patients of haemophilia and cost effectiveness of Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Project.
- Eight out of 37 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up. Additionally, the legislators raised seven supplementary questions.
- The House did not discuss a motion under rule 259 about petrol shortage and energy crisis in the country.
Order and Institutionalization
- The Opposition lawmakers walked out of the House against the unsatisfactory reply to a question addressed to National Electric Power Regulatory Authority and did not return till sitting’s adjournment at 1201 hours.
- The quorum was pointed out by a PPPP lawmaker at 1131 hours. After count, the Speaker adjourned the sitting for 24 minutes. On the second instance, the sitting was adjourned by the Deputy Speaker till Monday.
- ‘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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