Free and Fair Election Network Daily Factsheet: Sitting No. 5: Session No. 35 of the National Assembly 35th Session of National Assembly: Low Attendance Persists in Fifth Sitting too

Free and Fair Election Network Daily Factsheet: Sitting No. 5: Session No. 35 of the National Assembly 35th Session of National Assembly: Low Attendance Persists in Fifth Sitting too

Islamabad: The National Assembly met for an hour and 45 minutes during the fifth sitting of the ongoing 35th session. The sitting was marked by low attendance of Members, with only 52 present at the outset and 64 present at the adjournment of the sitting.

The House continued debates on the energy crisis, power outages, increase in prices of petroleum products, dengue fever and other related issues. A total of six Members spoke on these issues for 73 minutes.

The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 11 minutes, while the Leader of the Opposition remained absent. The Parliamentary Leaders of the NPP and PPPS were the only ones present, whereas the leaders of other parliamentary parties did not attend the sitting’s proceedings.

The following are some key observations of the Parliamentary Business: Members’ participation in House proceedings The National Assembly met for an hour and 45 minutes. The fifth sitting started at 1100 Hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 60 minutes.

The Speaker was not present during the sitting. The initial 47 minutes of the sitting were chaired by the Deputy Speaker, while the remaining sitting time was presided over by a Member of Panel of Chairperson. The Prime Minister attended the sitting briefly for 11 minutes, while the Leader of Opposition remained absent.

The Parliamentary Leaders of the PPPS and NPP were the only ones present, while the leaders of the PMLF, PML, MMAP, ANP, MQM and BNPA were absent.

The Chief Whips of the PPPP, PML and PMLN were present, while those of the MQM, MMAP, BNPA, PMLF and ANP were absent. A total of 52 (15%) members were present at the outset of the sitting, while 64 (19%) members at the end of the sitting.

Maximum presence of 105 Members (31%) was observed at one point of the sitting. A total of seven Members applied for leave to be absent. As many as four out of 10 minority members were present during the 5th sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

The House continued debates on the energy crisis, load-shedding, price hike in petroleum products, dengue fever and other related issues. A total of six Members – two each of the PPPP and PMLN, and one Member each of the PML and ANP – spoke on these issues for 73 minutes.

Output

There were no Bills on the Orders of the Day. Order and institutionalization A total of 10 Points of Order were raised, consuming 18 minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Orders raised by Members attracted the Speaker’s ruling. There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts during the sitting.

Transparency

Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others. Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public. The Quorum was lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of quorum was not pointed out by any of the Members o.

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