Points of Order take 34% Time of Low Attendance Third Sitting

ISLAMABAD, March 15, 2010: The third sitting of the 20th session was marked by low attendance with 79 members present at the outset and 92 members at the end. The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 26 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was present for 28 minutes, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Third 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 30 minutes.
  • The first sitting started at 1737 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The House proceedings started late by 37 minutes.
  • The House took a 20 minute break for prayers.
  • The Speaker of the House and the Deputy Speaker were not present during the sitting. The sitting was chaired by Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada (Panel of Chairperson).
  • The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were present.
  • Parliamentary leaders of PML, MQM and PPPS were present, while the leaders of NPP, MMAP, PMLF and BNPA remained absent.
  • The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, PML, ANP, PPPS, MQM and MMAP were present, while chief whips of NPP, BNPA and PMLF were absent.
  • Six members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
  • A total of 79 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 92 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 Finance and Revenue and Ministry of Sports.
  • The Notice directed to the Ministry of water and Power was tabled by 5 members of MQM, while the other was 5 members of PMLN.
  • A total of 24 questions were listed on the agenda to be taken up during the Questions Hour. However, only 5 questions were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.

Order and institutionalization

  • 22 Points of Order were raised, taking up 51 minutes of the House proceedings. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
  • There was one admitted Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day, However the house did not debate the issue.
  • 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