ISLAMABAD, February 26, 2015: Starting 52 minutes behind schedule, the second sitting of the 16th session of Balochistan Assembly witnessed introduction of the Balochistan Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2015 on Thursday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.
The sitting was marked by low attendance as 24 members (37%) were present at the outset while 26 (40%) were there at the adjournment of the sitting.
The House did not take up any question on the agenda due to the absence of ministers for Public Health Engineering and Provincial Disaster Management Authority while it rejected a resolution recommending to conduct recruitment tests in all provincial departments through National Testing Service (NTS).
The Leader of the House and his counterpart, Leader of the Opposition, attended the entire sitting.
Following are some key observations of the proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Balochistan Assembly met for an hour and 48 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1652 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours, witnessing a delay of 52 minutes.
- Twenty-four lawmakers (37%) were present at the outset while 26 (40%) were there at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 32 members (49%) were observed to be present at one point during the sitting.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting while 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, BNP and MWM attended the sitting.
- One minority member attended the sitting.
- Twelve members applied for leave.
- The Advisor to Chief Minister on Environment introduced the Balochistan Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2015.
- The House passed a resolution submitted by PML-N female lawmaker for constructing a round-about at Quetta-Chaman main road and removing unnecessary diversions on the road.
- Submitted by PkMAP legislator, the House discussed a resolution seeking approval from the federal government to develop route from Gwadar-Kashgar, Dera Ismail Khan, Zhob, Quetta and Khuzdar, besides laying Gwadar-Kashghar railway track.
- A resolution by ANP lawmaker recommending recruitment tests in all provincial departments through National Testing Service (NTS) was rejected by the House.
Representation and Responsiveness
- None of four Starred Questions (requiring oral answers) on the agenda were taken up due to the absence of relevant ministers.
Order and Institutionalization
- Four Points of Order consumed 10 minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- 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 the observers and the public.
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The report 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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