On Sunday, the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) released a tally of the number of parliamentary proceedings attended and skipped by each lawmaker in the lower house.
The report titled, ‘Attendance and Quorum in the National Assembly of Pakistan,’ has documented the work rate of all 342 members of the national assembly between June 2013 and March 2018. “The average attendance per sitting of national assembly legislators declined by 13 per cent over the last five years,” notes FAFEN, “Analysis of attendance patterns suggests a link of the falling attendance rate with weak enforcement of parliamentary rules of procedure and general disinterest among political leaders.” It further adds that at least 100 sittings, out of a total of 468, had to be suspended or adjourned due to lack of quorum.
Parliamentary duties are mandatory for all sitting members, including those on reserved seats. According to house rules, if a lawmaker is absent for more than 40 consecutive sittings, he/she can be de-seated. Yet, the chairman of the national assembly did not “process motions for de-seating legislators who had remained absent for more than 40 consecutive days during the 2014 protest against the government”.
Here is the list of those parliamentarians who attended the most and least amount of National Assembly sessions