Points of Order take 36% Time of Low Attendance Thirteenth Sitting

ISLAMABAD, March 31, 2010: The Thirteenth Sitting of the 20th Session met for two hours and thirteen minutes with 37 members present at the outset. The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 14 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition was absent, reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet on Thirteenth 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 2 Hours and 13 Minutes.
  • The thirteenth sitting started at 1034 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 34 minutes.
  • The Speaker was absent during the sitting, while the Deputy Speaker was present, who chaired the House for 110 Minutes, while Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada chaired the remaining 23 minutes (Panel of Chairpersons).
  • The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 14 minutes. However, the Leader of Opposition remained absent.
  • Parliamentary leaders of PML and PMLF were present, while the leaders of MMAP, ANP, NPP, MQM, PPPS and BNPA remained absent.
  • The Chief Whips of PPPP, MQM, MMAP and PMLF were present while Chief Whips of PMLN, ANP, NPP, PPPS and BNPA were absent.
  • Eight members appealed for leave to be absent from the sitting.
  • A total of 37 members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 90 members were 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 both CANs.
  • The Calling Attention Notices taken up by the House were directed to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Interior.
  •  The CAN directed to the Ministry of Health was tabled by 5 members of PPPP, while the CAN directed to the Ministry of Water and Power was sponsored by 5 members of PMLN.
  • A total of 23 questions were listed on the agenda to be taken up during the Question Hour. However, only 5 questions were raised and responded to by the relevant minister.


  • There was one bill on the Orders of the Day [The Alternative Energy Development Board Bill, 2010] which was taken up by the House.

Order and institutionalization

  • 14 Points of Order were raised, taking up 48 minutes of the House proceedings. However, none of them required Speaker’s ruling.
  • There was one Question of Personal Privilege raised by a member of PPPP on the issue of “misbehavior of EDO Health, Okara”. The issue was sent to the Committee of Rules and Procedures.
  • There was no Adjournment Motion on the Orders of the Day.
  • There was no instance of walkout or boycott 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