ISLAMABAD, November 19, 2014: The Chair prorogued sine die the 15th session of the Sindh Assembly as the House passed five treasury-backed bills and adopted two resolutions in its 11th sitting on Wednesday despite low attendance, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
As many as 43 (26%) members were present at the start and 54 (33%) at the end of the sitting.
Despite the low attendance, the House unanimously passed five government bills moved by the Provincial Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. In addition, two PPPP-sponsored resolutions were adopted that praised a young female educationist Assu Bai Kohli and condemned the derogatory remarks of the PTI Chairman against the people of Sindh.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Sindh Assembly met for five hours, observing a three-minute break for prayer call.
- The sitting started at 1032 hours – 32 minutes behind the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for four hours and 41 minutes, while the remaining 19 minutes were presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Chief Minister attended two hours and 27 minutes of the sitting, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for three hours and 10 minutes.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PML-F and MQM attended the sitting.
- Forty-three (26%) members were present at the start and 54 (33%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 112 members (68%) were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- Five non-Muslim members were present in the sitting.
- Three members applied for leave.
- The House unanimously passed five bills – the Sindh Allopathic System (Prevention/Misuse) Bill 2014, the Physiotherapy Council Bill 2014, the Sindh Pharmacy Council Bill 2014, the Sindh Nursing Council Bill 2014 and the Postgraduate College of Medical Sciences Bill 2014.
- Two PPPP-sponsored resolutions on the agenda were unanimously adopted by the House. The first resolution praised a young female educationist Assu Bai Kohli from Umerkot District who, despite her physical disability, has been educating girls in her area. The second resolution condemned the derogatory remarks of the PTI Chairman against the people of Sindh.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Four out of five starred questions (requiring oral as well written answers) appearing on the agenda were taken up and responded by the relevant department. Additionally, the lawmakers raised 23 supplementary questions to get further clarity on the answers.
- The House debated the open sale of raw alcohol in Hyderabad on an MQM-sponsored adjournment motion in which four members spoke for 12 minutes. The Speaker rejected the motion for being out of order as it was opposed by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.
Order and Institutionalization
- Nineteen points of order consumed 25 minutes of the proceedings’ time. However, none of the points of order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- No protests, boycotts or walkouts were observed.
- ‘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 at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the MPAs
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The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Sindh Assembly proceedings conducted by Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), a member organization of FAFEN.
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