ISLAMABAD, May 18, 2015: The Sindh Assembly continued its pre-budget debate on Monday amid low attendance and participation of lawmakers, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started 66 minutes behind the schedule with 35 lawmakers (21%) present at the start and 58 (35%) at the time of adjournment. However, only 14 members participated in the pre-budget discussion, which took up 62% of the proceedings’ time and was dominated by the opposition parties.
The sitting was entirely chaired by a member of the Panel of Chairpersons in the absence of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker. The Chief Minister was also absent. However, the Opposition Leader and the parliamentary leaders of all political parties attended the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the assembly business:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Sindh Assembly met for two hours and 57 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1106 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The sitting was entirely chaired by a member of the Panel of Chairpersons.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting.
- The Opposition Leader was present for 36 minutes.
- 35 members (21%) were present at the start of the sitting.
- A maximum of 58 (35%) lawmakers were present at the time of adjournment.
- The parliamentary leaders of all political parties were present.
- Four out of nine minority members attended the sitting.
- Two members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Fourteen lawmakers belonging to MQM, PPPP, PML-F and PML-N participated in the pre-budget discussion for 110 minutes (62% of the proceedings’ time).
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers raised five points of order that consumed six minutes of the sitting.
- The House witnessed multiple protests by PML-F and PML-N lawmakers, who raised their voice against insufficient time for participation in the pre-budget debate.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the members, observers and the public.
- Information on members’ attendance was available to the observers and the public.
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This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Sindh Assembly proceedings conducted by Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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