ISLAMABAD, February 28, 2015: The Balochistan Assembly passed the Balochistan Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2015 amid low attendance of lawmakers on Saturday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started 45 minutes behind the schedule with 25 lawmakers (38%) present at the start and 23 (35%) at the time of adjournment. The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader were present during the entire sitting.
The House also adopted a resolution seeking approval from the federal government to develop a route from Gwadar to Kashgar, Dera Ismail Khan, Zhob, Quetta and Khuzdar besides laying Gwadar-Kashgar railway track. Seven lawmakers spoke the resolution 114 minutes and demanded the federal government to entrust the affairs of the Gwadar port to the province.
Following are some key observations of the proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Balochistan Assembly met for two hours and 55 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1645 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The House observed a prayer break for 37 minutes.
- 25 lawmakers (38%) were present at the start and 23 (35%) at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 27 members (42%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Speaker was absent.
- The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader attended the entire sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of ANP, JUI-F, PML and MWM were present.
- One minority member was present.
- Four members applied for leave.
- The House passed the Balochistan Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2015.
- The House unanimously adopted a resolution seeking approval from the federal government to develop a route from Gwadar to Kashgar, Dera Ismail Khan, Zhob, Quetta and Khuzdar besides laying Gwadar-Kashgar railway track.
- Seven lawmakers – three from JUI-F and one each from BNP, ANP and National Party – spoke on the resolution 114 minutes.
Order and Institutionalization
- Two points of order consumed 10 minutes of the sitting.
- No protests/walkouts/boycotts were witnessed.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on legislators’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.
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The daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Balochistan Assembly proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development (CPD) – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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