Opposition walks out of NA, says proceedings not being run properly

Updated 24 Oct 2020

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Members of the opposition parties hold a protest in the National Assembly on Tuesday.—Online/File
Members of the opposition parties hold a protest in the National Assembly on Tuesday.—Online/File

ISLAMABAD: Opposition lawmakers on Friday accused the chair of not running the National Assembly session in an appropriate manner and staged a walkout from the house in protest.

When the session began, PPP member Naveed Qamar, while taking the floor, said the opposition could not become part of the house because it was being run in an inappropriate manner.

The house was not properly representing the people of the country, he said. “Therefore, we are staging the walkout,” the PPP leader said after which the opposition lawmakers left the house.

The opposition’s walkout and poor presence of PTI and allied parties’ lawmakers in the house created the quorum problem forcing NA Speaker Asad Qaisar to adjourn proceedings of the house till Monday.

It was the third consecutive session of the lower house which had to be adjourned because of lack of quorum and the opposition’s walkout.

The house could not do any legislative business on Tuesday also after the opposition staged a noisy protest for nearly two hours following refusal of Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri to allow opposition members to speak on the current political situation in the country.

The opposition members kept on hurling papers at the speaker’s dais, raised slogans against the government and surrounded Mr Suri almost throughout the proceedings.

Following the opposition’s walkout on Friday, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan said the manner in which the opposition was protesting and surrounding the speaker’s dais was against parliamentary norms.

He said the opposition did not participate in all the meetings called by the speaker and this attitude of the opposition was also unconstitutional.

Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2020