ISLAMABAD, January 26, 2012: The eighth sitting of the Senate met for an hour and six minutes with low attendance of Senators. Only four were present at the outset of the sitting while 22 present at the adjournment.
The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the Legislators.
Twelve out of 22 questions listed for the Question Hour were responded to by the relevant minister.
A Question of Privilege regarding ministerial absence was raised and sent to the Standing Committee on Rules of Procedures and Privileges.
The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting while the Leader of the Opposition not present.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for an hour and six minutes.
- The sitting started at 1100 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1030 hours. The House proceedings started 30 minutes late.
- The Chairman presided over the sitting.
- The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was not present.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, MQM, PKMAP, NP and the JI attended the sitting while the leaders of the PMLF, PMLN JWP, BNPA, PPPS and the ANP were absent.
- Four Senators (4%) were present at the start of the sitting while 22 (22%) were there when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum of 28 Senators (28%) were present during one point of the sitting.
- Six Senators applied for leave to be absent.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Twenty-two questions were listed for the Question Hour; only 12 was put up and responded to by the relevant minister.
- A total of 17 supplementary questions were raised during the sitting.
- A Question of Privilege regarding ministerial absence was raised by a PPPP Senator, which was sent to the Standing Committee on Rules of Procedures and Privileges.
- Two Standing Committee reports – The annual report of Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) for the Financial Year ended on 30th June, 2010, and The Observance and implementation of principles of policy in relation to the affairs of the Federation for the year 2008-09 and 2009-10 – were presented.
Order and Institutionalization
- One Point of Order was raised that consumed three minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, this was not pointed out by any of the Senators.
After successfully observing proceedings of the National Assembly, the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has started the observation of the provincial assemblies – Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan – and the Senate.
This daily factsheet is based on FAFEN’s direct observation of the eighth sitting of 77th session of the Senate.
These reports are released on the day the sittings are held to provide media and other interested stakeholders vital statistics about the Assembly proceedings to encourage informed public discourse on its performance.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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