ISLAMABAD, December 12, 2012: Starting 35 minutes late, the first sitting of Senate’s 88th session was marked by low attendance of Senators.
Only six legislators were present when the sitting started whereas 15 were there at the time of adjournment.
The only agenda item on the orders of the day – the Trade Organizations Bill 2012 – was not taken up by the House. Three supplementary condolence resolutions to pay tribute to late Senators – Salahuddin Dogar, Mir Wali Muhammad Badini, and Haji Jam ud Din – were unanimously adopted.
The sitting was chaired by the Deputy Chairman. Both the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition were present. The parliamentary leaders of MQM, PML, BNPA and PMLF did not attend the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for an hour and 45 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1635 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours and adjourned at 1820 hours. The proceedings started late by 35 minutes. There was a 32-minute prayer break.
- The Deputy Chairman chaired the entire sitting. The Chairman was not present.
- Both the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of ANP, JUIF and NP were present whereas those of MQM, PML, BNPA and PMLF did not attend the sitting.
- Only six Senators were present at the start, while 15 were there when the sitting was adjourned. Maximum 28 Senators were present during a time of sitting.
- One of the four minority members in the Senate attended the sitting.
- No legislator applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Question Hour was not held.
- Three condolence resolutions to pay tribute to late senators – Salahuddin Dogar, Mir Wali Muhammad Badini and Haji Jam ud Din – were moved by a PPPP legislator as supplementary agenda. The three resolutions were unanimously adopted.
- A bill appearing on the Orders of the Day was not taken up.
Order and Institutionalization
- No Point of Order was raised.
- There was no instance of protest, walk-out or boycott.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Senators’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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