ISLAMABAD, March 24, 2010: The low attendance Eighth sitting of the 20th session met for three hours and ten minutes, with 84 members present at the outset and 43 members at the end. The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 35 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 25 minutes, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Eighth Sitting of 20th Session of the National Assembly Proceedings
The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for 3 Hours and 10 Minutes.
- The eighth sitting started at 1733 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 33 minutes.
- The Speaker of the House and the Deputy Speaker were not present during the sitting. The sitting was chaired by Miss Yasmeen Rehman (Panel of Chairpersons).
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 35 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 25 minutes.
- The House took a 35-minute break for prayers
- Parliamentary leaders of PMLF and PPPS were present, while the leaders of PML, NPP, MMAP, MQM, PMLF, ANP and BNPA remained absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, MQM, MMAP, PMLF and PPPS, and were present, while the Chief Whips of ANP, NPP and BNPA were absent.
- Five members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- A total of 84 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 43 members remained present at the end of the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- There were 2 Calling Attention Notices on the Orders of the Day. The House took up one CAN.
- The Calling Attention Notice taken up by the House was directed to the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan. The other CAN was directed to the Ministry of Interior.
- The taken up CAN was tabled by 5 members belonging to PPPP.A total of 20 questions were listed on the agenda to be taken up during the Question Hour. However, only 9 questions were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.
- There were two bills on the Orders of the Day [The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2010] and [The Foreigners (Amendment) Bill, 2010] which were deferred to the subsequent sitting as the prime movers were not present.
Order and institutionalization
- 22 Points of Order were raised, taking up 76 minutes of the House proceedings. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
- The House debated the Adjournment Motion on the issue of “National Grants of MNAs” for 2 Hours which was not on the agenda.
- There was no instance of Protest, Boycott or Walkout during the sitting.
- Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of quorum was not pointed out by any of the members of the National Assembly.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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