ISLAMABAD, December 19, 2013: The Lower House of Parliament resumed debate on the prevailing law and order in the country on Thursday, despite the opposition’s continued boycott of the session (except MQM and JI) during the 11th sitting of 7th session, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet based on direct observation.
Five members, including two of MQM, and a single member each of PkMAP, PML-N and JI took part in the 51-minute debate on the motion under rule 259.
The opposition (except MQM and JI) is continuing its boycott of the session over alleged unparliamentary remarks of the Interior minister during his speech in the 10th sitting of the ongoing session.
The House took up two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding installation of telephone towers by mobile phone companies in the residential areas and expected closure of Federal Medical and Dental College, Islamabad due to non-release of funds by the government, although entry test for the third year classes has been conducted.
A total of 97 members, among the House of 340, were present at the outset while 35 were there at the adjournment of sitting.
The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the proceedings while Parliamentary leaders of PkMAP and APML were present.
Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:
- The National Assembly met for four hours and 27 minutes. The House took a prayer break of 40 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1114 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours, witnessing a delay of 44 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker presided over the sitting for three hours and 11 minutes while the remaining proceedings were chaired by a member of panel of chairpersons.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the proceedings.
- The Parliamentary leaders of PkMAP and APML were present.
- Ninety-seven (97) members were present at the outset while 35 were there at the adjournment. A maximum of 138 members were observed to be present at one point of sitting.
- Seven minority members attended the sitting.
- Twelve members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Sponsored by NPP and PML-N legislators, the House took up two calling attention notices regarding installation of telephone towers by mobile phone companies in the residential areas and expected closure of Federal Medical and Dental College, Islamabad due to non-release of funds by the government.
- Eight out of 49 Starred Questions on the agenda – requiring both oral and written answers – were taken up. Additionally, lawmakers asked 18 supplementary questions.
Order and Institutionalization
- MNAs spoke on eight points of order for an hour and 24 minutes.
- MQM staged a token walkout for two minutes against State Minister for Water and Power for not replying to a question.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.
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 excepted
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