Punjab Assembly: Opposition Protests over Lahore Casualties

  • Lack of Quorum leads to adjournment of sitting

ISLAMABAD, June 17, 2014: The opposition in Punjab Assembly protested over the clashes and killings in Lahore on Tuesday during 3rd sitting of the 9th (Budget) session, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet.

The Leader of the Opposition, through a point of order, requested the Chair to summon provincial Law Minister to inform the House about the gory incident. Later, the minister came to the House and briefed the legislators about the entire episode.

Meanwhile, 14 members – PML-N (12) and PTI (2)- took part in the budget debate that continued for an hour and 50 minutes.

The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting. However, the provincial Minister for Finance attended the entire proceedings. A total of 59 members were present at the outset while 50 were there at the adjournment. A maximum of 134 members were present at one point during the sitting.

Following are some key observations of the proceedings:

Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:

  • The Punjab Assembly met for three hours and 23 minutes.
  • The sitting started at 1135 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour and 35 minutes.
  • The House had a break of 47 minutes.
  • Fifty-nine members were present at the start, 50 at the adjournment while a maximum 134 at one point during the sitting.
  • The Speaker chaired the sitting for two hours and 13 minutes while the remaining proceedings were presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
  • The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was there for an hour and 13 minutes.
  • The parliamentary leader of JI attended the sitting.
  • Six minority members were present.

Output

  • Reports of Standing Committees on Information, Housing and Urban Development were laid in the House.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • Overall 14 members – 12 PML-N, PTI (2)-expressed their views on the budget debate that continued for an hour and 50 minutes.

Order and Institutionalization

  • The opposition protested within the House against clashes and killings in Lahore.
  • PTI lawmaker pointed out quorum at 1454 hours. The Chair ordered the bells to be rung but the sitting had to be adjourned due to lack of quorum.

    Transparency

  • ‘Orders of the day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
  • Information on members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.

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The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization, a member organization of FAFEN