Senate session prorogued; leaves two-third agenda unaddressed

ISLAMABAD: The Senate session was prorogued sine die leaving two-third of the eighth sitting’s agenda unaddressed, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet based on direct observation of the Upper House.

The House took up three legislative bills and referred them to the relevant standing committees for further consideration. The Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and The Domestic Workers (Employment Rights) Bill, 2013 were introduced by PPPP senators while the Trade Organization (Amendment) Bill, 2014 by a MQM senator.

The House held almost an hour long debate on Motion under Rule 218 regarding the working and recent pronouncements of Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) sponsored by a PPPP senator. Nine parliamentarians took part in the debate while Minister of the State for Religious Affairs gave a statement on the issue and Leader of the House concluded the debate.

All the opposition parties staged a token walkout for three minutes to express solidarity with the journalists against the terrorist attacks on them. The senators also raised 13 points of order during the sitting.

Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:

Members’ Participation in House Proceedings

  • The Senate met for three hours and 35 minutes, taking a prayers break for 34 minutes.
  • The House proceedings remained suspended for 25 minutes following a walkout of journalists against attacks on their colleagues in Karachi.
  • The sitting started at 1605 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour and five minutes.
  • The Deputy Chairman presided over the entire sitting as the Chairman was absent.
  • Eighteen senators were present at the outset, 38 at the adjournment and a maximum 48 at a point during the proceedings.
  • The parliamentary leaders of PML-N, PPPP JUI-F and ANP were present.
  • Three minority senators attended the sitting.
  • Nine members applied for leave.
  • The Leader of the House was present while the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • Nine parliamentarians debated the Motion under Rule 218 sponsored by PPPP senator for almost an hour regarding the working and recent pronouncements of Council of Islamic Ideology (CII).

Order and Institutionalization

  • Thirteen points of order (POs) were raised during the proceedings, consuming 53 minutes of the sitting. Three senators of PML-N, two each of PPPP and ANP and one each of PkMAP and JUI-F shared their views while speaking on POs.
  • All opposition parties staged a token walkout for three minutes to show solidarity with journalists against the terrorist attacks on them.

Transparency

  • ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
  • Information on senators’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.  

 

This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. This Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization; a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions excepted