ISLAMABAD, March 20, 2015: The National Assembly left its entire agenda unaddressed as points of order (POs) consumed 76% of the sitting on Friday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The agenda included two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding appointment of fifty new officers on deputation in the Pakistan International Airlines and discontinuation of latest Prime
Minister’s Assistance Package for families of Government employees who die during service.
It also included a commenced motion under rule 259 to debate the recent petrol crisis which was not taken up.
Seventy lawmakers (20%) were present at the start of the sitting and 62 (18%) at the time of adjournment. The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the lawmakers in the House. The Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader did not attend the sitting.
The proceedings of the House remained suspended for 15 minutes when MQM lawmakers protested within the House and asked the Chair to allow them to speak on points of order (POs).
Moved by State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, the House passed a motion to suspend the question hour of the day following which POs consumed 76% (78 minutes) of the proceedings’ time.
The following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings:
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 42 minutes.
- The sitting began at 1058 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours, witnessing a delay of 28 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 35 minutes while the rest of the proceedings were presided over by Deputy Speaker.
- The Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader did not attend the sitting.
- Seventy lawmakers (20%) were present at the start of the sitting and 62 (18%) at the adjournment. A maximum of 120 members (35%) were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of MQM, AMLP, PkMAP and BNP attended the sitting.
- Four minority members were present in the sitting.
- None of the members applied for leave.
Order and Institutionalization
- Six POs consumed 78 minutes (76%) of the proceedings’ time.
- MQM lawmakers protested within the House for 15 minutes, asking the Chair to allow them to speak on POs.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not shared with the observers or the public.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the lawmakers in the House.
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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 are excepted
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