Points of Order Consume 50% Time of Low Attendance First Sitting

ISLAMABAD, March 11, 2010: The 20th Session of the National Assembly started here on March 11, 2010 with 47 members present at the outset of the first sitting, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on First 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 02 hours and 51 minutes.
  • The first sitting started at 1718 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 18 minutes.
  • The House took a 39 minute break for prayers.
  • The Speaker of the House was not present during the sitting. However, the Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting.
  • The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were present.
  • Parliamentary leaders of ANP, and PPPS were present, while the leaders of PML, MQM, NPP, MMAP, PMLF and BNPA remained absent.
  • The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, ANP and PPPS were present, while chief whips of MQM, MMAP, NPP, BNPA and PMLF were absent.
  • Eight members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
  • A total of 47 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 120 members 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 both CANs.
  • The Calling Attention Notices taken up by the House were directed to the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Water and Power.
  • The Notice directed to the Ministry of water and Power was tabled by 5 members of PPPP, while the other was 5 members of PMLN.
  • Both the Calling Attention Notices were taken up by the House.
  • There was no Question Hour as the prerequisite two weeks have not lapsed between the two sessions.


  • The House took up the Bill [The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2009], the only Bill on the Orders of the Day.

Order and institutionalization

  • 16 Points of Order were raised, taking up 87 minutes of the House proceedings. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
  • There was no Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day. The House admitted a motion on Lahore bombings to be discussed at the subsequent sittings.
  • There was no instance of Protest, Boycott or Walkout.


  • 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