FAFEN: Women MPs Performance in the National Assembly Report

As the first parliamentary year of the incumbent 14th National Assembly is nearing to an end, women legislators performed impressively, asserting themselves in their lawmaking role, according to a Free and Fair Election Network on the International Women’s Day. They played an active role in the lawmaking process by submitting 12 private member bills (six singly and six jointly with their colleagues). These bills mainly focused of issues pertaining to governance, human rights, democracy and political development. Similarly, women parliamentarians, singly, submitted 20 resolutions, 14 calling attention notices, 1,383 questions, 22 motions under rule 259 and raised 64 points of order during the reporting period.

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Report on the Senate performance during the Eleventh Parliamentary Year 2013-14

The Senate ended its eleventh parliamentary year 2013-14 on 11th March, 2014. The Senate annual year 2013-2014 bore testimony to some crucial political developments in the country. The caretaker set up was in place in early 2013 to oversee the general elections. The elections led to first ever transition from a democratically elected government to another with the continuity of the Senate in perpetuating democracy. A distinguishing feature of the National Assembly Senate relationship after the General Elections 2013 is the dominance of opposition parties in the Senate. The Senate is in position to act as counterbalance on legislative developments.

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2013 General Elections Observation and Analysis of Election Day Processes

FAFEN observed polling processes at a maximum of 38,274 polling stations and 31,337 polling booths spanning over 263 National Assembly constituencies as a part of its election day observations. The exercise yielded observations of a total 71,397 irregularities and violations in the day’s proceedings. These observations were recorded on standardized observation checklists designed to document polling irregularities as well as significant events and incidents affecting the process.

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Political Parties’ Petitions with Election Tribunals – February 2014 Update

The ECP constituted 14 tribunals across the country to redress election-related complaints of contesting candidates. For the first time in Pakistan’s electoral history, the judges heading these tribunals include retired eligible judges instead of serving high court judges (except for the tribunal in Quetta which is being headed by a serving judge of Balochistan High Court). Earlier, the existing workload of judges would restrict the proceedings of the tribunals and the cases would often continue for years. By appointing retired judges, the ECP has removed the existing workload from the tribunals’ schedules, making it easier to resolve the cases within 120 days stipulated by Section 67(1A) of the Representation of the People Act 1976. The day count starts when the tribunals receive petitions from the ECP.

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FAFEN Parliament Monitor: 9th Session Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (January 6-22, 2014)

The ninth session of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly achieved a milestone by being the first provincial assembly to pass the Ehtesab (Accountability) Commission Bill, 2014 to overcome corruption. The Estesab Commission Bill was passed along with the other legislation. The legislation was done in the atmosphere of low attendance and prevailing lack of interest amongst the law-makers, says the Free and Fair Election Network in its session report based on the direct observation of the session.

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FAFEN Parliament Monitor: National Assembly of Pakistan, 8th Session, January 27- February 7. 2014

The National Assembly’s eighth session was marked by the contentious passage of two government- backed anti-terrorism bills and the extension of terms of anti-terrorism ordinances amidst protests by the opposition benches. The long-awaited arrival of the Prime Minister and low interest of lawmakers in terms of attendance and participation was also witnessed, says Free and Fair Election Network in its report based on direct observation.

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National Assembly Election Results Analysis

FAFEN, the leading civil society network covering issues of election and governance, achieved its own landmark in implementing the largest citizen observation exercise to date. FAFEN observed 2013 general elections in Pakistan and compiled a detail report on National Assembly Election Results Analysis using Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT). The findings of the observation, both on-field and desk, are compiled in a series of reports covering all aspects of the 2013 National Assembly general elections. One of several, this report focuses on the election results and their historical and comparative significance at the constituency level.

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FAFEN Parliament Monitor: 7th Session Provincial Assembly of Balochistan (January 13, 2014 – February 1, 2014)

The Balochistan Assembly witnessed one of its most productive sessions as the House passed 13 Bills. Some of these Bills focused on improvement in governance, protection of human rights and increase in the perks and privileges of lawmakers. The House also adopted 14 resolutions primarily seeking better governance in the province. Lawmakers’ interest in the proceedings was evident as 71% of the assembly’s members contributed to the agenda on the List of Business and/or shared their views in the on-floor debates.

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FAFEN Parliament Monitor: Senate of Pakistan 100th Session January 2 – 20, 2014

Law and order and employment quotas in natural resource rich areas were the main concerns of Senators. Almost a third of the 100th session’s duration was spent in the PPPP and ANP led criticisms of government, amid an overall atmosphere of low attendance and participation, says the Free and Fair Election Network in its report based on direct observation of the Senate.

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Political Parties’ Petitions with Election Tribunals – January 2014 Update

Only forty percent (152 of 379) of the post-election petitions were decided by the election tribunals by December 31, 2013, with the tribunals falling behind the legally stipulated time of 120 days for the disposal of petitions in at least 181 cases. The election results were officially notified on May 22, 2013, after which the candidates had until July 6 (45 days) to submit petitions with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). There were 14 tribunals constituted across the country to redress election-related complaints by the contesting candidates. The commission received a total of 406 petitions.

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