ISLAMABAD, January 03, 2013: Starting two hours and 45 minutes late, the 12 sitting of the ongoing 43rd session of the Punjab Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution calling upon the federal government as well as the elections commission of Pakistan to ensure that the general elections are held on time. Another resolution condemning Imran Khan’s remarks about women reserved seats was also adopted unanimously.
Two bills – The Defence Housing Authority of Rawalpindi Bill 2013 and the Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering and Technology Multan Bill 2013 – were introduced.
The sitting was marked by low attendance as only 27 members were present at the start and five at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 113 members were present at a time of sitting.
The Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Speaker, and the parliamentary leaders of PML, MMAP and PMLZ did not attend the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for three hours and 20 minutes.
- The sitting was started at 1745 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1500 hours, witnessing a delay of two hours and 45 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for two hours and five minutes while the rest of the sitting was chaired by a member of the panel of chairpersons. The Deputy Speaker was not present.
- The Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the parliamentary leaders of PML, MMAP and PMLZ did not attend the sitting.
- Twenty-seven members were present at the outset while five were there at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 113 members were present at one point of sitting.
- Three minority legislators were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The question hour was not held.
- Two resolutions were unanimously adopted by the house. One of these, while condemning the conspiracy against democracy and parliament, called upon the federal government and the Election Commission of Pakistan to ensure the timely general elections, while the other condemned the remarks of Imran Khan about election of women members on the reserved seats.
- Two bills – The Defence Housing Authority of Rawalpindi Bill 2013 and the Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering and Technology Multan Bill 2013 – were introduced.
Order and Institutionalization
• There was no incident of protest, walkout or bycott during the sitting.
- The List of Business was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting but it was not pointed out by any member.
- Information about members’ attendance was unavailable to the observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN, a member organization of FAFEN.
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