ISLAMABAD, October 2, 2017: The National Assembly passed the much-debated Elections Bill, 2017 and the Right of Access to Information Bill, 2017 on Monday, despite the opposition’s protest over passage of the electoral bill, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during first sitting of the 47th session:
- The National Assembly met for two hours while the proceedings remained suspended for 24 minutes due to a prayer break.
- The sitting started at 1730 hours against the scheduled time of 1700 hours.
- The Speaker presided over the entire sitting while the Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Leader of the House (Prime Minister) attended the sitting for 22 minutes.
- The Leader of the Opposition was present for an hour and 29 minutes.
- As many as 99 (29%) lawmakers were present at the outset and 251 (73%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PkMAP, JI, QWP-S and AMLP attended the sitting.
- Seven minority lawmakers were present.
- The House approved the Elections Bill 2017 as has been passed by the Senate with minor amendments. The amendments of the opposition lawmakers to the bill were rejected by the House.
- The House also approved the Right of Access to Information Bill, 2017 and the Auditor General’s (Functions, Powers and Terms and Conditions of Service) (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
- The government introduced the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2017, the Evening Courts Bill, 2017 and the General Statistics (Reorganization) (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The House referred these bills to the relevant standing committees.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House did not hold the Question Hour and deferred the Calling Attention Notices appearing on the Orders of the Day as well.
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers raised nine Points of Order consuming an hour and two minutes of the proceedings.
- The lawmakers belonging to the opposition parties – PPPP, PTI, MQM, JI and AMLP – protested over the passage of the Elections Bill, 2017 in its present form. Their protest continued for 17 minutes.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Information on Members’ attendance is available on the National Assembly website.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly’s proceedings, conducted by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted
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