ISLAMABAD, September 17, 2018: The newly elected President of Pakistan Dr. Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi on Monday addressed both Houses of the Parliament assembled together on the beginning of the first parliamentary year of the National Assembly, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started 15 minutes behind the schedule, lasting 40 minutes during which the President spoke on national issues for 24 minutes. The Presidential Address is mandatory under the Constitution at the start of each parliamentary year.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The joint session lasted 40 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1615 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The proceedings started with the national anthem followed by the recitation of the Holy Quran.
- The sitting was chaired by the National Assembly Speaker.
- The Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Senate Chairman attended the sitting while the Deputy Chairman Senate was not present.
- The Prime Minister attended the entire sitting.
- The National Assembly’s Opposition Leader was not present.
- The Leader of the House in the Senate attended the entire sitting while the Opposition Leader was present for 14 minutes.
- 296 lawmakers (66% of the total membership) were present at the start of the sitting and 210 (47%) at the time of adjournment.
- The parliamentary leaders of JI, PML-F, PkMAP, BNP-M, ANP, PML-N, PTI, PPPP, and JUI-F in the Senate were present.
- The parliamentary leaders of BNP, MMA, MQM, AMLP, PML, PPPP, GDA in the National Assembly were present.
- Six minority lawmakers in the National Assembly and three in Senate attended the proceedings.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The President addressed the joint sitting for 24 minutes to mark the advent of the incumbent government’s first parliamentary year.
Order and Institutionalization
- The PML-N lawmakers walked out of the House at 1629 hours when the Chair disallowed to take up any other business in the House. They did not return to the House till adjournment of sitting.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Information on Members’ attendance is available on the National Assembly website.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Parliament’s proceeding conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted.
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