ISLAMABAD, July 20, 2020: The Senate passed a constitutional amendment bill on Monday seeking increase in number of seats for Balochistan Assembly from 65 to 80, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet.
Following are key observations of the proceedings during the fourth sitting of the 300th session:
- The Senate met for four hours and 25 minutes.
- The sitting started at the scheduled time of 1600 hours.
- The Chairman presided over the proceedings for three hours and 33 minutes while remaining sitting was chaired by a Member of Panel of Presiding Officers.
- The Deputy Chairman was not present.
- The Leader of the House attended the sitting for three hours and 43 minutes.
- The Leader of the Opposition was present for two hours and 57 minutes.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
- As many as 33 lawmakers (32%) were present at the outset and 10 (9%) at the adjournment of sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML-N, PPPP, JI, MQM, JUI-F, PkMAP, BAP and BNP-M attended the sitting.
- Three minority lawmakers were present.
- Sponsored by 20 lawmakers, the House passed a bill seeking amendment to Article 106 of the constitution. A total of 71 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill while no one opposed the bill seeking increase in general seats of Balochistan Assembly from 51 to 63, women seats from 11 to 13 and seats for non-Muslims from three to four. Earlier, the motion to consider the bill was passed by the House with a similar number of votes. Nine lawmakers also spoke on the bill for 45 minutes.
- Sponsored by a PML-N lawmaker, the House rejected the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Amendment of Article 198) seeking creation of more benches of high court at district level. Two-third majority (66 out of total membership – 104) was required to pass the constitutional amendment but a total of 57 Senators voted in favor of the bill and 13 opposed it.
- Two bills including the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Amendment of Article 100) and the Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 were referred to the relevant committees after their introduction in the House. Both bills were sponsored by a PPPP lawmaker.
- The House adopted a resolution to recognize and appreciate efforts and personal scarifies of doctors and paramedical staff fighting on the front lines against the pandemic of COVID-19.
- The House did not consider three other private members’ resolutions appearing on the agenda.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House debated a motion under Rule 218 about the role and effectiveness of Competition Commission of Pakistan against cartelization in various sectors resulting in over pricing of products. Four lawmakers spoke on this motion for 33 minutes while the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs concluded debate on it.
- Four other motions under Rule 218 remained unaddressed during the sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- JUI-F lawmakers staged token walkout from the proceedings against the Chair’s decision to refer the Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to the relevant committee instead of Council of Islamic Ideology.
- The entire opposition staged walkout from the House for eight minutes against the remarks of the Leader of the House after rejection of a legislative proposal.
- Eleven lawmakers spoke on points of order for 58 minutes.
- The House was adjourned to meet again on July 22, 2020 (Wednesday) at 1600 hours.
- Orders of the Day was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Attendance of lawmakers was available to the media and observers.
This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted
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