Transformational Case Studies of Supporting Transparency, Accountability, and Electoral Process, January 2014

The twenty transformational case studies of the STAEP project in this report chronicle the progress towards achieving governance objectives by raising the citizens’ voice and organizing them effectively with the government officials and elected representatives to realize their agenda of community development. These case studies have been chosen by keeping in mind the principle of proportional representation. The STAEP project operates in 200 National Assembly (NA) constituencies out of total of 272. Ten percent of the NA constituencies have been chosen for the transformational case studies in this report.

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FAFEN Parliament Monitor: Senate of Pakistan 99th Session December 2 – December 20, 2013

The 99th session of the Senate was marked by the passage of a private member’s bill and the adoption of four resolutions as senators displayed low interest in the proceedings in terms of their attendance and participation, leaving behind two-fifth of the agenda on the Orders of the Day unaddressed. The objectives of the private member’s bill – the Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2013 – moved by an ANP lawmaker, state that “the civil servant holding dual nationality or citizenship of any foreign country should not be entitled for promotion to posts in Basic Pay Scale 20 or equivalent and above, to ensure the loyalty of senior bureaucrats “holding influential and sensitive posts”.

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FAFEN Parliament Monitor: 5th Session Provincial Assembly of Punjab (November 29, 2013 – December 13, 2013)

Some positive steps were taken to enhance citizen’s access to information in the Punjab Assembly in addition to amendments to existing laws during the fifth session. The session was otherwise marked by low interest of members in terms of attendance and participation, says Free and Fair Election Network in its session report based on the direct observation of the session. The Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Bill 2013, which mandates government departments to ensure the provision of information to the citizens was passed in addition to ten amendments to existing laws.

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FAFEN Parliament Monitor: National Assembly of Pakistan 7th Session, December 05-20. 2013

Increasing direct representation of religious minorities was proposed in a bill seeking constitutional amendments in the seventh session of the National Assembly, otherwise marked by protests and boycotts against the Interior Minister’s ‘un-parliamentary’ remarks when the opposition aired reservations regarding voting procedures in the 2013 general elections as well as planned moves by the government to privatize institutions like the Pakistan International Airlines, NADRA etc., says Free and Fair Election Network in its session report based on the direct observation of the Lower House. The session saw the introduction of a private member bill which sought amendments in articles 51 and 106 of the constitution to increase the number of seats for religious minorities in the federal and provincial legislatures, and for direct elections to these seats. At present, members of religious minorities are elected to the House indirectly, through a party list system.

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FAFEN Parliament Monitor: National Assembly of Pakistan 6th Session, November 04-12. 2013

Low interest of the members in participation and addressing agenda items was observed in the sixth session of the National Assembly, says Free and Fair Election Network in its session report based on the direct observation of the proceedings of the Lower House. The sixth session of the National Assembly continued the trend of fifth session of leaving more than half of the agenda unaddressed, low attendance of members, absence of Prime Minister and no passage of legislation.

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FAFEN Parliament Monitor: Senate of Pakistan 98th Session October 28 – November 8, 2013

The Senate held 10 sittings, starting from October 28 to November 8, 2013, which lasted 14 hours and 22 minutes. On average, each sitting spanned an hour and 26 minutes, with a delay of 72 minutes. With the exception of MQM, the opposition benches boycotted the session over the alleged misconduct of the Federal Minister for Interior. The opposition alleged that during one of the question hours, the Interior Minister had provided inaccurate information to the House on the killings in terrorists’ attacks and urged him to withdraw his statement.

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Political Parties’ Petitions with Election Tribunals – October 2013 Update

Only One-fourth (95 of 373) post-election petitions have been decided by the Election Tribunals by October 31, 2013 with Election Tribunals falling behind the legally stipulated time of 120 days for the disposal of a petition in at least 18 cases. The election results were officially notified on May 22 after which the candidates had the time (45 days) until July 6 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 406 petitions in all.

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FAFEN Parliament Monitor – 100 Days of 14th National Assembly of Pakistan

The 14th National Assembly took oath on June 1, 2013 after a landmark smooth and democratically managed transfer of power. Despite allegations of rigging and irregularities in the May 11 elections, the transition of power remained august as the newly-elected members took oath indicating at the increasing maturity that political organization had achieved, strengthening democracy. The oath-taking of members was followed by the election of the Speaker in a triangular contest that clearly established the majority of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) in the National Assembly.

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FAFEN Parliament Monitor – Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 4th Session, September 10-18, 2013

The fourth session of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly witnessed the introduction of a bill on right to information, providing for setting up a powerful Information Commission and protecting the whistleblowers against legal, administrative or employment related sanction for releasing information on wrongdoing. The House also unanimously adopted a resolution to condemn the suicide attacks on…

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FAFEN Parliament Monitor – 6th Session Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa October 7-11, 2013

The sixth session of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly witnessed the introduction of two important government bills on the local government system and the establishment of an accountability commission, amidst government and opposition walkouts. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Bill, 2013 provides for holding the local government elections on party basis at district and tehsil council…

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