ISLAMABAD, March 10th, 2014: The KP Assembly adopted three resolutions and debated law and order, distribution of development funds, political appointments, and education among other issues, as the Chief Minister remained absent for most of the 10 session and attended only two sittings, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its preliminary report.
Three resolutions, tabled variously by the Jameet Ulema Islam-Fazal, Pakistan Peoples’ Party Parliamentarians (PPPP), and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) were adopted by the House regarding provision of vehicles to the District Developmental Advisory Committee, award of oil and gas contracts in Kohat to local firms, and constitution of project committees in constituencies to monitor use of development funds and pace of projects.
Law-makers from all parties, except All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and Independents (both government and opposition alliance), debated law and order for 13% of the session time, distribution of development and local government funds in the province for 8%, political appointments in the province for 5%, constitution of zakat committee for 4%, imposition of education emergency for 4%, and appointment of consultants for development projects in Irrigation department and Ministries of Communication and Works and Public Health Engineering for 3% of the session time.
The Chief Minister was only present in two sittings of the session which began on 18th February and ended on 6th March, while the Leader of the Opposition was present in six. The Speaker was present in four sittings and the Deputy Speaker in eight.
An adjournment motion regarding sexual harassment in educational institutes was raised and sent to the relevant standing committee during the first sitting.
The House took up five calling attention notices (CANs), three by the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) regarding unregistered motorcycles in Swabi, appointments of junior and unqualified persons at senior posts in the Rangers, and non-provision of tobacco cess to Charsadda. A Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) sponsored CAN regarding transfer of a project director in Mardan Development Authority, and one by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam – Fazal (JUI-F) about illegal renting of a women’s hostel in Hangu by a District Education Officer were also taken up by the House.
Law-makers asked 93 questions from various Ministries to conduct government’s oversight – 44 by the JUI-F, 19 by the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), 14 by the QWP, 11 by the Awami National Party (ANP), two each by the Jamaat-e-Islami – Pakistan (JIP), one by Independent, and one by a PTI member.
Members of the ANP, JUI-F, PML-N, PPPP, and QWP also raised 15 points of order on rules of business, democracy and political development, good governance, development works, law and order, women rights, and terrorism, as well as to pay tributes, consuming 76 minutes of the total session time (36 hours and 46 minutes). Since these POs were not utilized to point out any breach in the assembly discipline and thus did not attract the Speaker’s ruling, they did not contribute to the Assembly’s output.
A female law-maker belonging to the PPPP walked out for 10 minutes to protest non-provision of funds to the opposition during the 8th sitting. She was later joined by other opposition members as well.
Three questions of privilege (QoPs) were also raised during the Session. A law-maker from the JUI-F raised misbehavior of the Chief Planning Officer of Buner on the floor, but the QoP lapsed due to his absence during the sitting. A PML-N legislator spoke against a news item reporting support for a forward block within the party, while an Independent member spoke about non-cooperation of Hangu police on the prevalence of extortion in the district. The latter two QoPs were sent to the relevant standing committees.
As the KP Assembly does not make its attendance records public, the FAFEN observer conducts a headcount at the beginning and end of the sitting. On average, 42 members were present at the outset of a sitting and 49 at the end, while three minority members were present in each sitting on average. Quorum was pointed out by a PTI member during the 8th sitting but was completed and the sitting resumed after bells were rung for two minutes.
The preliminary report is based on direct observation of KP Assembly proceedings conducted by Paiman Trust, a member organization of FAFEN.
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