ISLAMABAD, November 8, 2013: The fifth sitting of the ongoing 6th session of the National Assembly witnessed low attendance of Members as only 37 were present at the outset and 65 were there at the adjournment, says the Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet.
The House continued its debate over a Motion under Rule 259 about the recent drone attacks in North Waziristan. Six legislators spoke on the motion for 47 minutes.
Members spoke on nine Points of Order for 37 minutes (39% of the sitting time). However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling. Unless the Chair gives a formal ruling on a Point of Order, it does not lead to any assembly output.
The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was there for 41 minutes.
With the exception of MQM, the Opposition Benches walked twice out of the House over the over the absence of ministers from the House, especially the Prime Minister.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for an hour and 35 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1045 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours, witnessing a delay of 15 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition remained present for two hours and 41 minutes.
- The parliamentary leaders of ANP, AMLP and JI were present.
- Thirty-seven Members (11% of the total current membership – 340) were present at the outset while 78 (19%) were there at the adjournment. A maximum of 116 Members were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- Six Minority Members attended the sitting.
- Five members applied for leave.
- The Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was introduced and sent to the respective standing committee.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Six Members spoke on the Motion under Rule 259 about the recent drone attacks in North Waziristan Agency.
- Four PML-N Members spoke for 26 minutes and two MQM MNAs spoke for 23 minutes.
Order and Institutionalization
- Members spoke on nine Points of Order for 37 minutes (39% of the sitting time). However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- With the exception of MQM, the Opposition Benches walked twice out of the House over the absence of ministers from the House, especially the Prime Minister.
- Orders of the Day were available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. This Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI); a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions excepted.
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