ISLAMABAD, September 22, 2017: The Senate on Friday passed the Elections Bill, 2017 with amendments and the session was prorogued after the House addressed the entire business of the day, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.
Following are key observations of the House proceedings during 10th and last sitting of the 267th session:
- The Senate met for six hours and 10 minutes while the proceedings remained suspended on three different occasions including an hour and 32 minutes for prayers break, 15 minutes for absence of relevant ministers and 25 minutes due to refusal of the Chairman to preside over the proceedings.
- The sitting started at 1004 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The Chairman chaired the sitting for two hours and three minutes, the Deputy Chairman for 32 minutes while a member of the Panel of Presiding Officers presided over the rest of the proceedings.
- The Leader of the House attended the sitting for three hours and 28 minutes while the Leader of the Opposition for two hours and 14 minutes.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PkMAP, JUI-F, PML-F, MQM, BNP-M, NP and PML-N attended the sitting.
- As many as 11 (10% of the total membership – 104) lawmakers were present at the start and 10 (9%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- Three minority legislators also attended the proceedings.
- The House passed the Elections Bill, 2017 with amendments. It voted twice on two crucial amendments, including an amendment (clause 60, sub clause 2, paragraph d) regarding the wealth statement moved by a PTI lawmaker while the second amendment in clause 203 was moved by the Leader of the Opposition to put restrictions on an individual who is not qualified to become a member of the Parliament, and is also not eligible to lead any political party. The House voted twice on the amendment related to the wealth statement on the insistence of Law Minister which was rejected by the House while the amendment on the disqualification issue was also rejected by the House by one vote i.e. 37 to 38.
- A member of the Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges, on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee, presented the reports of the committee on the Protection of Economic Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the Amendments in Rules 64 and 93 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012 and the Question of Breach of Privilege of the House by the Additional Secretary (America) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- The House adopted a motion to constitute a special committee regarding implementation of the building codes and civic regulations in Islamabad.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up two Calling Attention Notices (CANs) regarding non-payment of flying allowance to PIA Cabin Crew since August, 2016 and the incident of lynching of a 17-year old Christian student in a school of district Vehari.
- The House admitted an Adjournment Motion on the significance of the BRICS declaration with particular reference to China’s view point on Pakistan.
- As many as eight out of 50 Starred Questions were taken up for answers during the proceedings. In addition, lawmakers asked 22 supplementary questions.
- All the questions related to the Ministry of Interior were deferred due to the absence of relevant minister.
Order and Institutionalization
- The Chairman left the House at 1222 hours after his decision to hold fresh voting on an already-passed amendment was not endorsed by majority of the House. The proceedings resumed at 1247 hours with the Deputy Chairman in the chair.
- The lawmakers belonging to PTI walked out of the House for 22 minutes in support of the decision of the Chairman.
- A PPPP lawmaker staged a walkout for three minutes against the load-shedding in one of the areas in Sindh.
- The lawmakers raised two Points of Public Importance consuming four minutes of the proceedings.
- Orders of the Day was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- The attendance of lawmakers is available on the website.
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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