ISLAMABAD, May 8, 2019: The Senate passed the Elections (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 on Wednesday amidst the lack of quorum, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.
Following are key observations of the House proceedings during ninth sitting of 288th session:
- The House met for an hour and 54 minutes.
- The sitting started two minutes behind the scheduled time of 1100 hours.
- The Chairman presided over the entire sitting.
- The Deputy Chairman was also present.
- The Leader of the House attended the sitting for 54 minutes.
- The Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
- As many as 10 lawmakers (9%) were present at the outset and 23 (22%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PkMAP, JUI-F, PPPP and BNP-M attended the sitting.
- Two out of four minority lawmakers were present.
- Chairman Standing Committee on States and Frontier Regions presented the reports of the committee on two Points of Public Importance regarding delay in rehabilitation activities in erstwhile FATAs and non-payment of salaries and pension to the personnel of Levies and Khassadar Forces working in Kurram and Orakzai.
- Tabled by the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, the House passed the Elections (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019. The voting on the bill took place despite identification of the quorum. The bill provides for grouping of two or more separate areas in a constituency for the purpose of elections in recently merged tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House did not address a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) seeking government’s response on a statement of Prime Minister of Pakistan during his recent visit to Tehran. The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs wanted to respond to the notice but the opposition insisted on a response by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
- The House did not hold the scheduled discussion on the Annual Report of the National Commission on the Status of Women for the year 2017.
- The ministers replied to 13 out of 34 Starred Questions while the House referred five of these questions to the relevant committees. Moreover, 12 questions were disposed of due to absence of the movers, two were deferred and the remaining were not taken up during the Question Hour. In addition, the lawmakers asked 34 supplementary questions.
- A lawmaker belonging to JI moved a Question of Privilege against an official of Frontier Constabulary (FC).
Order and Institutionalization
- As many as seven lawmakers raised the Points of Order consuming 19 minutes of the proceedings. The Chair instructed the Senate Secretariat to issue directives to the government to stop the demolition of boundary wall and cutting of trees in Girls Guide Building, Rawalpindi.
- The opposition parties walked out from the proceedings for five minutes against the absence of the government ministers to respond to the parliamentary business. They again staged a walkout at 1250 hours against the absence of the Minister for Foreign Affairs to respond a CAN. They did not return to the House till adjournment of sitting.
- A PML-N lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1250 hours that was initially ignored by the Chair and later led to the adjournment of the sitting till 1100 hours on May 9, 2019 (Thursday).
- ‘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 proceeding conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted
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