FAFEN Parliament Monitor: National Assembly of Pakistan 50th Session (February 17 — March 14, 2013)

The 13th National Assembly, completing its historic five years tenure, achieved a legislative agenda which altered the country’s governance structure by ensuring provincial autonomy and restoring the 1973 constitution, and promoted women’s empowerment. However, the last session of the assembly was marked by low interest of members as low attendance persisted throughout the session, and the lower house left 70% of the agenda appearing on the Orders of the Day unaddressed. The 50th session witnessed the passage of bills on counter-terrorism, general elections, education and health. Maintaining the tradition of political consensus over legislation and other national interest issues, the house unanimously passed 15 bills, including two amendments to the Anti-terrorism Act to expand the powers of law enforcement agencies to tackle financing for acts of terrorism and empowering them to detain suspects for a period of thirty days. In addition, a bill was passed to set up the National Counter Terrorism Authority.

Details

FAFEN Parliament Monitor- Senate of Pakistan 91st Session

The session from 18 February to 14 March 2013 lasted 36 hours and 14 minutes. On average, each of the 17 sittings lasted two hours and seven minutes, starting 49 minutes late. Overall the upper house passed 15 bills including four private members’ bills. A private member’s bill introduced by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate “to consolidate the law to regulate the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution” by NGOs “for any activities detrimental to the national interest” was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance.

Details

Provincial Assembly of the Punjab: Annual Report 2012 – 2013

As the Punjab Assembly grappled with the question of creating new provinces in the fifth parliamentary year, it passed bills to set up universities and curtail the trend of protracted litigation in disposing of land cases as part of the reforms package the provincial government announced for women, besides adopting the federal laws on the subjects devolved to the provinces under the 18th constitutional amendment. Overall the focus of legislation was education, women empowerment and the matters related to land and property.

Details
FAFEN Pre-Election Update 42: ECP Code Violations Continued through End of Campaign Period

FAFEN Pre-Election Update 42: ECP Code Violations Continued through End of Campaign Period

FAFEN observers recorded a total of 6,102 Code of Conduct violations. Of these, 30 were speeches arousing controversy or making personal attacks on rival candidates. Observers reported one incident of action against women voters and five incidents against female candidates.  Other observed violations include the use of loudspeakers (512 instances), rallies causing inconvenience (227), illegal voter inducement (171), weapons display (130), and aerial firing/fireworks (40).

Details
FAFEN Pre-Election Update 41: Only 11 percent of Election Officials’ Meetings held with Security Officials

FAFEN Pre-Election Update 41: Only 11 percent of Election Officials’ Meetings held with Security Officials

ISLAMABAD, May 9, 2013: Free and Fair Election Network’s (FAFEN) Long-Term Observers interviewed Returning Officers (ROs), District Returning Officers (DROs) and District Election Commissioners (DECs) in 48 constituencies and 35 districts, regarding their meetings with election stakeholders at district and constituency levels. These meetings, we believe, are essential for security and logistical planning and to ensure transparency, efficiency, and accountability in the administration of the elections says Pre-Election Update 41 released on Thursday.

Details

FAFEN Pre-Election Update 40: 24% Rallies Break Speech Rules; 78% Violate Other Regulations

ISLAMABAD, May 8, 2013: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) observers in 143 National Assembly (NA) constituencies reported 1,495 rallies of 23 political parties and independent candidates. FAFEN’s Constituency Long-Term Observers (CLTOs) saw an average of 9-14 rallies in each constituency of Punjab and Sindh, but only three rallies on average in constituencies of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), says Pre-Election Update 40 released on Wednesday.

Details
FAFEN Pre-Election Update 39: 40% of Pre-election Complaints Yet to be Resolved

FAFEN Pre-Election Update 39: 40% of Pre-election Complaints Yet to be Resolved

ISLAMABAD, May 7, 2013: The number of pre-election complaints increased sharply in the last week of April 2013, with 1,476 complaints being registered with election officials between April 23 and 29, 2013, nearly twice the 747 complaints reportedly filed in the preceding week. Out of these complaints, nearly two-thirds (1,049 or 59.8%) were resolved, according to election officials’ records, while more than one-third (427, or 40.2%) remained unresolved, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).

Details

FAFEN Pre-Election Update 38: 830 Code Violations, including Controversial Speeches

ISLAMABAD, May 6, 2013: FAFEN observers recorded a total of 830 Code of Conduct violations between April 20 and 26, 2013. Of these, 10 cases were of speeches arousing controversy or personal criticism of other candidates. FAFEN Pre-Election Update 35 (April 26, 2013) reported 11 similar observed cases.  A related FAFEN press release on April 30, 2013, urged ECP to take more action to “Stop Incitements to Sectarian Violence,” says Pre-Election Update 38 released on Monday.

Details
FAFEN Pre-Election Update 37: 70 Govt Officials Campaign for Candidates in 25 Constituencies

FAFEN Pre-Election Update 37: 70 Govt Officials Campaign for Candidates in 25 Constituencies

ISLAMABAD, May 5, 2013: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) observers witnessed a total of 70 government officials participating in political activities in 25 constituencies across the country. Thirty-six officials were seen seeking votes for different candidates in 12 constituencies, while another 17 officials were observed participating in political rallies, in 12 different constituencies, says Pre-Election Update 37 released on Sunday.

Details