- Low Attendance Observed
ISLAMABAD, February 17, 2012: The Senate did not take up the Constitution (Twentieth Amendment) Bill, 2012 during its first sitting of the 78th session on Friday.
The sitting met for an hour and 41 minutes with low attendance of Senators. Only eight were present at the outset of the sitting while 32 present at the adjournment.
The Constitution (Twentieth Amendment) Bill, 2012 was deferred.
Eighteen Points of Order were raised, which consumed an hour an five minutes of the sitting time. None of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling. Unless the Chair gives a formal ruling on a Point of Order, it does not contribute to any assembly output.
The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for an hour and 30 minutes.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for an hour and 41 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1819 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1730 hours. The House proceedings started late by 49 minutes.
- The Chairman presided over the sitting.
- The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting, while the Leader of the Opposition was present for an hour and 30 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the PMLN, PML, MQM, PKMAP, NP, JWP, JIP and ANP attended the sitting, while the leaders of the PMLF, BNPA and PPPS were absent.
- Only eight Senators (8% of total Membership) were present at the start, while 31 (28%) were present when the sitting was adjourned.
- Two Members applied for leave to be absent.
- The House took a 13-minute break on account of prayers.
Representation and Responsiveness
- No Calling Attention Notice appeared on the Orders of the Day.
- The Constitution (Twentieth Amendment) Bill, 2012 was deferred.
Order and Institutionalization
- Eighteen Points of Order were raised, consuming an hour and five minutes (64% of sitting time). However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- The sitting witnessed two walkouts. An ANP senator staged a three-minute walkout over a media report against another senator. On the second instance, JUIF, PMLN, ANP and Independent Senators protested against the drone attacks. Their walkout lasted 15 minutes.
- 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, lack of Quorum 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 first sitting of 78th 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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