ISLAMABAD, April 18, 2015: Starting 30 minutes behind schedule, the first sitting of the Balochistan Assembly’s 17th session was marked by low attendance of lawmakers, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) on Saturday.
Seventeen members (26%) were present at the start of the sitting and 19 (29%) at the time of adjournment. The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting, while the Opposition Leader was absent.
The House witnessed the introduction of the Balochistan Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill 2015.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Balochistan Assembly met for 112 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1630 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- 17 lawmakers (26%) were present at the start and 19 (29%) at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 29 members (45%) attended the sitting.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- The Deputy Speaker was absent.
- The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting.
- The Opposition Leader was not present.
- The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP and ANP were present.
- Two minority members attended the sitting.
- Eight members applied for leave.
- The Minister for Services and General Administration introduced the Balochistan Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill 2015.
- The Health Minister presented the National Finance Commission’s report for July-December 2013.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The Chair admitted and merged two identical adjournments motions on the Kashgar-Gwadar corridor for a discussion on April 21.
- Six lawmakers (two from PkMAP and one each from NP, PML-N, JUI-F and ANP) debated the alleged death of children from measles in Killa Saifullah for 31 minutes.
Order and Institutionalization
- Eight points of order consumed 22 minutes of the sitting.
- No protests/walkouts/boycotts were witnessed.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on legislators’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
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The daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Balochistan Assembly proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development (CPD) – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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