ISLAMABAD, July 29, 2013: Fourteen members of the Punjab Assembly participated in the discussion on the new Punjab local government system during the third sitting of its third session on Monday,reports the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily factsheet based on direct observation of the parliamentary proceedings.
The attendance of MPAs was observed low with 92 MNAs (26%) present at the beginning, 24(7%) at the end and 129 (36%) at the time when maximum attendance was observed. A PTI member pointed out the missing quorum to which the Chair ordered for the assembly bells to be rung for five minutes. Afterwards the proceedings resumed as the quorum was found complete.
The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting that lasted three hours and 17 minutes. The Chief Minister was absent while the leader of the opposition attended the proceedings for 45 minutes.
The house bypassed the question hour wherein the Prisons and Labor Department was to answer related questions.
Following are some key observations of the proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for three hours and 17 minutes. A 48 minute prayer break was taken during the sitting.
- The sitting started at 1110 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour and 10 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- A total of 92 Members (26% of current membership – 354) were present at the outset while 24 (7%) were there at the adjournment. A maximum, 129 (36%) Members were present at one point of the sitting.
- The Chief Minister was not present while the Leader of the Opposition attended 45 minutes of the sitting.
- Three minority Members were present.
- None of the Members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Fourteen MPAs debated the new local government system laid out in the Punjab Local Government Bill 2013 – introduced in the previous sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- Lawmakers spoke on nine Points of Order consuming six minutes of the proceedings.
- A PTI member pointed out the missing quorum to which the Chair ordered for the assembly bells to be rung for five minutes after which the proceedings resumed.
- No instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts were observed.
- Members’ attendance was documented.
- Information on Members’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
- Copies of the budget speech were available to the legislators.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN, a member organization of FAFEN
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