ISLAMABAD, December 11, 2012: Meeting for just 55 minutes, the 2nd sitting of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s 29th session was marked by the low attendance and ministerial absence. Only 33 of the total 124 members were present when the sitting started while 45 were there at the adjournment.
The legislators of two opposition parties – PMLN and MMAP – staged a walkout protesting against the absence of ministers. Four starred questions (requiring oral replies) and a Calling Attention Notice were left unaddressed.
The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
The Chief Minister, the Deputy Speaker, and the parliamentary leader of PMLN did not attend the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The KP Assembly met for 55 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1620 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours and adjourned at 1715. The proceedings started late by 20 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Speaker was not present.
- The Chief Minister was absent while the Leader of the Opposition attended the entire proceedings.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML, PPPP and PPPS were present while the PMLN leader was absent.
- Thirty-three members (27% of the total membership – 124) were present at the outset while 45 (36%) were there at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 57 (46%) members were present at one point of the sitting.
- Seven members applied for leave.
- One minority member was present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Two of the six starred questions (requiring oral replies) appearing on the agenda were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministry. Additionally, seven supplementary questions were asked.
- A Calling Attention Notice (CAN) about non-completion of a communications (road) project in Mardan (PK-28) and non-availability of drinking water was taken up by the House.
- The other CAN on the agenda was not raised as the relevant minister was not present.
- Two Standing Committee reports – one about the health department and the other about agriculture department – were presented in the House.
- A report on the observance and implementation of the principles of policy was also presented in the House.
Order and Institutionalization
- Eight Points of Order consumed 19 minutes of the proceedings time. None of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- PMLN and MMAP legislators staged a walkout protesting against the absence of ministers. The protest by MMAP legislators lasted seven minutes, while the PMLN member went out of the House at 1649 hours and did not come back to attend the remaining proceedings.
- Orders of the Day were available to the legislators, observers and others.
- The Members’ attendance was not made public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of KP Assembly proceedings conducted by PAIMAN Alumni Trust, a member organization of FAFEN