Lawmakers Disinterest Marks Punjab Assembly’s 35th session

ISLAMABAD, May 10, 2018: Lack of interest of provincial lawmakers in proceedings marked the 35th session of Punjab Assembly, which passed one private member’s as well as two government bills and witnessed the introduction of nine legislative proposals.

The session, comprising seven sittings, started on April 26, 2018 and concluded on May 7, 2018. The cumulative duration of the sittings was 11 hours and 27 minutes as each sitting, on average, witnessed a delay of an hour and 46 minutes from its starting time and continued for an hour and 38 minutes.

The lack of quorum persisted during the first five sittings and it was pointed out for seven times. Four sittings had to be adjourned due to the presence of less than 25% (93) lawmakers in the House while the required number was found complete twice after the customary bells were rung for five minutes. One instance was such when the quorum was found complete after suspension of the proceedings for 40 minutes.Read More >>

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FAFEN Releases First Pre-Election Long-Term Election Observation Report

ISLAMABAD, April 24, 2018: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has started pre-election long-term observation activities in 130 districts across Pakistan to assess the political environment and implementation of election-related laws, rules and regulations as part of its multi-phase observation of General Election (GE) 2018.

In its General Election 2018 Update-I being released today, FAFEN has compiled the observations recorded by its Long Term Observers (LTOs) between January 2018 to March 2018 to provide objective, unbiased and evidence-based information about the quality of electoral and political processes to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), political parties, media, civil society organizations and citizens.

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Equality of Vote Compromised in 92 PA Constituencies

Equality of Vote Compromised in 92 PA Constituencies

ISLAMABAD, April 10, 2018: Examination of the recently issued preliminary report of draft proposals for the delimitation of constituencies reveals that adherence to the principle of equality of vote – a key principle for ensuring equitable political representation – is compromised in 92 proposed Provincial Assembly (PA) constituencies, including 26 in Balochistan, 22 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 21 in Punjab, and 23 in Sindh. These proposed constituencies deviate by more than 10% from their respective provincial average population per PA constituency; exceeding the ordinarily permissible variation range of 10% established by the law.

Of 92 PA constituencies, 72 constituencies have been suggested with a variation rate between 11% and 20%, nine constituencies have variation between 21% and 30%, seven constituencies have a higher degree of variation between 31% and 40%, three constituencies have a variation between 41% and 50% while in case of one Balochistan PA constituency, this variation is exorbitantly higher than 50%.

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National Assembly: Legislators’ Attendance Trend Declines in Five Years

National Assembly: Legislators’ Attendance Trend Declines in Five Years

ISLAMABAD, April 8, 2018: The average attendance per sitting of National Assembly (NA) legislators declined by 13% over the last five years. 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 to participate in parliamentary business. The annual average attendance per sitting declined from 222 (65%) legislators during the first year to 193 (56%) legislators during the fifth year. Similarly, session-wise attendance average fell from 311 (91%) per sitting during the first session in June 2013 to 192 (56%) in the last NA session that was prorogued sine die in March 2018.

According to the official records, each NA sitting was attended by an average of 60% legislators. Only five sittings were attended by 301 or more legislators, while 42 sittings were attended by 251 to 300 legislators. A total of 212 sittings had an attendance between 201 and 250 legislators, 174 had an attendance between 151 to 200 legislators, 33 had an attendance between 101 and 150 legislators while two sittings were attended by less than 100 legislators. The attendance also fluctuated on various weekdays. The average attendance on midweek days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) is higher than the first and last working days of the week (Monday and Friday). Read More >>

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Delimitation Proposals: FAFEN Identifies Discrepancies in Size of Electoral Constituencies

ISLAMABAD, March 16, 2018: Free and Fair Election Network (ECP) has identified varying degree of discrepancies in the population size of electoral constituencies in fresh delimitation proposals laid out by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). While ECP has upheld the legal delimitation principles of geographical compactness and respect for the existing boundaries of administrative units, the principle of equality of vote is compromised in as many as 81 National Assembly constituencies where the variation in population size exceeds the ordinarily permissible legal limit of 10%.

Election Rules, 2017 drafted and approved by ECP appeared to have been strictly adhered to but in that process legal principle of equality of vote is compromised. Rules pertaining to delimitation could not sufficiently operationalize the legal principle of equality of vote among constituencies. Law provides for equality among constituencies but Rules have attempted to follow this principle among provinces and districts. In a detailed analysis of the Preliminary Report and List of Constituencies released by ECP, FAFEN examined the variations found in the population and voter size of the National Assembly (NA) constituencies with regards to the national, provincial and district averages of population and voters per constituency.

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Sindh Assembly Passes 10 Bills, Adopts 16 Resolutions

ISLAMABAD, March 14, 2018: The Provincial Assembly of Sindh passed 10 bills and adopted 16 resolutions during its 38th session comprising 12 sittings held between February 23, 2018 and March 12, 2018. Each sitting, on average, started 90 minutes behind the scheduled time and lasted for two hours and 25 minutes. The longest sitting of the session (third)…

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15th Parliamentary Year: Senate Stands for Parliamentary Supremacy, Intra-Institutional Dialogue

15th Parliamentary Year: Senate Stands for Parliamentary Supremacy, Intra-Institutional Dialogue

ISLAMABAD, March 11, 2018: During the fifteenth Parliamentary Year ending in March 11, 2018, the Senate set outstanding benchmarks of punctuality, efficiency and responsiveness, critically intervening in issues of national importance through quality debates and impactful legislation. Under the visionary leadership of the outgoing Chairman Raza Rabbani, the House of Federation contributed towards consolidation of…

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Women MPs Contribute 39% Parliamentary Business during 2017-18

Women MPs Contribute 39% Parliamentary Business during 2017-18

Women legislators attend 67% NA sittings and 64% Senate sittings PML-N’s Kiran Haider remains most regular lawmaker by attending 100 percent NA sittings, while PkMAP’s Gul Bushra attends 92 out of 100 Senate sittings Muddasir Sehar Kamran, Sherry Rehman and Rubina Khalid sponsor highest number of resolutions in Senate Aisha Syed sponsors eight while Shireen…

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Code Violations Go Unchecked in Ghotki By-election

Code Violations Go Unchecked in Ghotki By-election

GHOTKI, March 5, 2018: Violations of code of conduct and unchecked campaigning and canvassing, marred the otherwise peaceful by-election for the Sindh Assembly seat in Ghotki (PS-7 Ghotki-III) that was held on March 5, 2018, says the Free and Fair Election’s (FAFEN) observation report. The seat had fallen vacant following the death of Pakistan Peoples…

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Enforcement lapses Allow Procedural Irregularities in Sargodha By-Election

Enforcement lapses Allow Procedural Irregularities in Sargodha By-Election

SARGODHA, March 4, 2018: Procedural irregularities and weak enforcement of electoral laws characterized an otherwise peaceful but low turnout by-election of the Punjab Assembly seat in Sargodha (PP-30 Sargodha-III) that was held on March 4, 2018, says the Free and Fair Election’s (FAFEN) observation report. The by-election was necessitated due to the death of Pakistan…

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