ISLAMABAD, October 23, 2014: Starting 51 minutes behind the schedule, the Senate witnessed the withdrawal of the Members of Parliament (Powers, Immunities and Privileges) Bill 2014 owning to the reservations of journalists during the 5th sitting of 108th session, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs gave a policy statement about the situation emerged after ceasefire violations by the Indian forces on the Line of Control and Working Boundary. He spoke for 12 minutes.
After the special permission of the Chair, the Senators condemned a terrorist attack on a JUI-F rally in Quetta and demanded arrest of perpetrators. Thirteen lawmakers – PPPP (5), PML and ANP (2 each) and one each of JUI-F, PkMAP, PML-N and MQM – participated in the debate that continued for 46 minutes.
A MQM Senator staged a two-minute walkout over the remarks of the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly about the muhajir community. The House offered fateha for Nusrat Bhutto on the eve of her death anniversary.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for three hours and 13 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1621 hours against the scheduled time of 1530 hours witnessing a delay of 51 minutes.
- The House availed a prayer break for 20 minutes.
- The Deputy Chairman presided over the entire sitting as the Chairman was absent.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
- The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present for two hours and 57 minutes.
- Twenty-two senators (21%) were present at the outset, 21 (20%) at the adjournment while a maximum of 38 (37%) at one point during the siting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PkMAP, PML-F and ANP attended the sitting.
- Three minority members attended the sitting.
- Seven members applied for leave.
- A PPPP Senator withdrew the Members of Parliament (Powers, Immunities and Privileges) Bill 2014 which was introduced during the second sitting of the ongoing session.
- The Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources Chairman presented a report on a point of order raised by Senator Haroon Khan on March 30, 2010, about news items published in English newspapers regarding $1 billion LNG scam.
- The Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges Chairman presented a report on a privilege motion moved by Senator Mian Raza Rabbani on February 28, 2014, regarding the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs gave a policy statement on the situation emerged after ceasefire violations by the Indian forces on the Line of Control and Working Boundary. He spoke for 12 minutes.
- The House took up 19 of 33 questions (requiring oral as well as written replies) while 31 supplementary questions were also asked.
Order and Institutionalization
- Thirteen Senators – PPPP (5), PML and ANP (2 each) and one each of JUI-F, PkMAP, PML-N and MQM – participated in a debate a JUI-F rally in Quetta which continued for 46 minutes.
- Seven points of order consumed 24 minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- A MQM Senator staged a two-minute walkout over the remarks of the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly about the muhajir community.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on senators’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. This Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization; a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions excepted.
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