ISLAMABAD, April 18, 2016: The Senate transacted most of its agenda on Monday and disallowed introduction of the Constitutional Bill seeking amendments in Articles 5 and 6 during third sitting of its 127th session, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
Minister for Law and Justice opposed the bill by saying that provision regarding obedience to law and constitution has been already provided for in the Constitution.
Twenty-two lawmakers (21%) were present at the start of the sitting and 32 (31%) at the time of adjournment. The House witnessed the usage of electronic voting system for the first time in parliament history of the country and adopted a resolution to extend Prime Minister’s scheme for quality education to students of Balochistan and FATA for another term of five years.
The following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Senate met for three hours and 36 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1532 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
- The Chairman chaired the entire sitting.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
- Leader of the House attended the entire sitting while the Opposition Leader was present for 55 minutes.
- 22 members (21%) were present at the start and 32 (31%) at the end of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PkMAP, BNP-M, ANP, MQM, PML, PML-N, JI and JUI-F attended the sitting.
- Three minority members were present.
- The House passed the National University of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill, 2015 while the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was deferred on the request of the mover.
- Another bill – the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016 [Amendment of Articles 5 and 6] – could not be moved in the House after being opposed by the Minister for Law and Justice.
- The House adopted a resolution through e-voting system to extend the Prime Minister’s scheme for provision of opportunities of quality education to the talented students of Balochistan and FATA for another term of five years.
- Another resolution to discontinue the facility of provision of free of cost electricity to the employees of WAPDA was rejected by the House.
- A resolution about appointment of an administrator for the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad was not pressed by the mover after assurance of the government to resolve the issue.
- The House decided to discuss a resolution in any of the next sitting in presence of Minister for Interior which was about empowering the elected representative body of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to elect its representatives to the Senate.
- A resolution sponsored by NP lawmaker was deferred on his request for re-drafting purpose.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Following motions under Rule 218, the House discussed the hardships being faced by the employees of Frontier Constabulary; the closure of the BOL media group; overall performance of the National Accountability Bureau and demolition of kiosks in green belts/sectors in Islamabad.
- A motion under Rule 218 about Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme was dropped due to absence of mover while the Chair deferred another motion about inclusion of safety and security related subjects in the curriculum on mover’s request.
- The debate on a motion about implications of departure of Gen. (R) Pervez Musharraf was deferred till the presence of Minister for Interior in the House in ongoing session.
- The House passed a motion under Rule 194 (1) seeking extension of 30 days to submit report about a demand of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government.
- The House did not discuss revelations made in Panama Leaks.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceeding conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted
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