ISLAMABAD, June 4, 2015: President Mamnoon Hussain addressed a joint session of the Parliament to mark the advent of the incumbent government’s third parliamentary year on Thursday, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started 10 minutes behind the schedule, lasting 41 minutes during which the President spoke on national issues for 34 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 41 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1110 hours against the scheduled time of 1100 hours.
- The sitting was chaired by the National Assembly Speaker.
- The Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Senate Chairman and the Deputy Chairman attended the sitting.
- The Prime Minister and the National Assembly’s Opposition Leader were present.
- The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader in the Senate were present.
- 186 lawmakers (42% of the total membership) were present at the start of the sitting.
- A maximum of 300 parliamentarians (67%) were present at the time of adjournment.
- The parliamentary leaders of JI, QWP, PML-F, PML-Z, PkMAP, BNP, ANP, JUI-F and APML in the National Assembly were present.
- Six minority lawmakers in the National Assembly attended the proceedings.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The President addressed the joint sitting for 34 minutes to mark the advent of the incumbent government’s third parliamentary year.
Order and Institutionalization
- The sitting witnessed a one-minute token walkout by MQM lawmakers against the ongoing military operation in Karachi. However, the legislators returned to the House after negotiating with the State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.
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The 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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