ISLAMABAD, October 28, 2020: The National Assembly left 98 percent of its agenda unaddressed on Wednesday due to the opposition’s protests, walkouts and quorum issue, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during the sixth sitting of 27th session:
- The National Assembly met for three hours.
- The sitting started at 1123 hours against the scheduled time of 1100 hours.
- The Speaker presided over the proceedings for 49 minutes, the Deputy Speaker for an hour and 25 minutes, and the rest of the sitting was chaired by a Member of Panel of Chairpersons.
- The Leaders of the House (Prime Minister) and the Opposition were not present.
- Seventy-three lawmakers (21% of the total membership – 342) were present at the outset and 39 (11%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- The Parliamentary leaders of BAP, JWP, PML-N, PPPP, BNP-M and PML attended the sitting.
- Seven minority members were also present.
- The House did not take up the legislative business, 22 motions for the introduction of as many reports of the Standing Committees, six amendments in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in National Assembly, 2007, five resolutions and as many motions under Rule 259 and a Calling Attention Notice.
- Tabled by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, the House unanimously adopted a resolution to condemn the bomb blasts in Quetta and Peshawar, resulting in the loss of several innocent lives.
- A PML-N lawmaker tabled a resolution to condemn Armenia’s attacks on Azerbaijan, which was adopted by the House. The resolution also expressed concerns over the deteriorating situation in Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
- Tabled by the Minister for Communications, the House adopted a resolution that strongly condemned the statement of a participant of the opposition’s PDM public gathering in Quetta against Article 251 of the Constitution.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up only one out of 40 starred questions. Ten questions could not be taken up due to the absence of their movers while the remaining questions were not considered due to time constraint.
- Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs responded to a Calling Attention Notice regarding termination of hundreds of employees including contractual employees from Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Pakistan).
Order and Institutionalization
- Twelve lawmakers spoke on as many points of order for an hour and 12 minutes that were mainly related to the political situation in the country.
- The entire opposition staged a walkout for 34 minutes against the running of the House proceedings without taking it into confidence.
- PML-N lawmakers staged a walkout for eight minutes against the meager increase in support price of wheat.
- The Chair expelled a PPPP lawmaker from the House for 25 minutes when he protested in front of the Speaker’s dais for not taking up his question during the Question Hour. The opposition lawmakers protested over the decision for ten minutes.
- A PPPP lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1145 hours that led to the suspension of the proceedings for 16 minutes.
- A PML-N lawmaker pointed out the lack of quorum at 1421 hours that led to the adjournment of the sitting as the attendance of lawmakers was less than the required strength (i.e. one-fourth of total membership – 342).
- The House was adjourned to meet again on October 29, 2020 (Thursday) at 1100 hours.
- Orders of the Day was available to legislators, observers and public.
- Attendance of lawmakers was available to the media and observers.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted