ISLAMABAD: Unfinished agenda, low attendance of members, persistent lack of quorum and points of order (PO) interrupting the itemised proceedings marked the twenty-eighth session of the National Assembly that ended here on February 4, 2010, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its preliminary report based on direct observation of the session.
The National Assembly met for ten sittings for a cumulative 27 hours and 20 minutes, an average of two hours and 44 minutes per sitting, each of which started with an average of 51 minutes delay.
The House could take up only 36 per cent of the agenda items that appeared on the orders of the day, primarily due to the 182 POs that consumed more than one-third of the total session time comprising 1,640 minutes.
Party-wise analysis of participation reveals that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) members showed the highest participation in proportion to their membership. As many as 78 per cent of PML-N members took part in the proceedings, followed by 76 per cent of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), 57 per cent of Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians, 52 per cent of PML, 46 per cent of Awami National Party (ANP) and 25 per cent of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Party members.
During the 28th session, on average, 65 members were present at the start of each sitting and 72 at the end.
The prime minister attended all ten sittings for 20 per cent of the total session time while the leader of the opposition attended four sittings for 14per cent of the total session time.
The House witnessed three walkouts during the course of the entire session including one each by PML-N, MQM and the ANP.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2011.
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