ISLAMABAD, October 23, 2014: Starting 50 minutes behind schedule, the Punjab Assembly witnessed low attendance as 12 members (3%) were present at the start and 23 (6%) at the end of the sitting during the 4th sitting of 10th session on Thursday, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
In the House of 367, the quorum was visibly lacking throughout the sitting; however, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators. The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition remained absent and only the parliamentary leader of PPPP attended the sitting.
Four PML-N members continued debate on a resolution regarding political situation and democracy. The PML-N and PML members tabled six adjournment motions, of which, two were disposed while four were not taken up.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 42 minutes.
- The sitting witnessed a delay of 50 minutes as it started at 1050 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The Speaker presided over the sitting for an hour and 48 minutes while the Deputy Speaker for 54 minutes.
- The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition remained absent.
- The parliamentary leader of PPPP attended the sitting.
- 12 members (3%) were present at the start and 23 (6%) at the end while a maximum of 87 legislators (24%) were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- Four minority members attended the sitting.
- None of the members applied for leave.
- The Minster of Law tabled five annual reports of Punjab Baitul Mal, Faisalabad Development Authority, Punjab Public Service Commission, Park and Horticulture Authority and Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority.
- Four PML-N members debated a resolution – tabled during the first sitting – regarding political situation and democracy. It continued for 27 minutes.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Seven out of the 37 questions appearing on the agenda were taken up and responded by the representative of the relevant minister while 20 supplementary questions were also asked.
- The PML-N and PML legislators tabled two Calling Attention Notices about a robbery incident in Gujrat and the alleged killing of a youth by police in Sargodha. Both CANs were taken up and answered by the relevant minister.
- Six adjournment motions – PML-N (4) and PML (2) – were tabled in the House. Two motions were disposed of after being responded by the relevant ministers while four were not taken up. The disposed of motions were regarding the Pakistan Medical Dental Council’s decision to declare all admissions illegal that were obtained by violating rules and merit and the government’s failure to control milk and meat prices despite tax exemption to cattle farms.
Order and Institutionalization
- No incidents of protests, walkouts and boycotts were observed.
- Members spoke on six points of orders which consumed 15 minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was available to observers and the public.
- The quorum was visibly lacking during the sitting; however, it was not pointed out by any of 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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