ISLAMABAD, December 20, 2013: Seven senators were present at the start and 24 at the end of the 13th sitting, when the Chairman prorogued the 99th session of the Upper House, on Friday, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet based on direct observation of the House proceedings.
The sitting lasted an hour and 28 minutes, after observing a 41-minute delay. The Leader of the House was present during the entire sitting while the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the proceedings. The parliamentary leaders of ANP and MQM attended the sitting.
The House held a 26-minute debate on a motion regarding the current political and security situation in the country, with particular reference to Balochistan, FATA and Rawalpindi incidents. Two senators belonging to ANP and PPPP spoke on the said motion, which was moved by a PPPP senator.
Two out of four Starred Questions on the Orders of the Day were taken up. Additionally, lawmakers asked 13 supplementary questions. The questions on the agenda were addressed to the ministries of information, broadcasting and national heritage, railways, and interior.
On not getting permission on a point of order, harsh words were exchanged between the PML-N senator and the Chair, which led to the prorogation of the session sine die.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for an hour and 28 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1111 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours, witnessing a delay of 41 minutes.
- The Chairman presided over the sitting while the Deputy Chairman was absent.
- The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was absent.
- Seven senators were present at the outset and a maximum 24 members were there at the adjournment of the proceedings.
- The relevant ministers for the Question Hour were present.
- The parliamentary leaders of ANP and MQM attended the sitting.
- Two minority senators attended the proceedings.
- Five members applied for leave.
- Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges presented a report after the House adopted a motion moved by a PML lawmaker to condone the delay in its submission. The report was on the privilege motion moved by an MQM senator against the Secretary, Cabinet Division and other concerned officers for misleading the President in promulgating the Drug Regulatory Agency of Pakistan Ordinance, 2012.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Two out of four Starred Questions – requiring both oral and written answers – on the Orders of the Day were taken up. Additionally, lawmakers asked 13 supplementary questions.
- The questions on the agenda were addressed to the ministries of information, broadcasting and national heritage, railways and interior.
- Two senators belonging to ANP and PPPP spoke on a motion (under Rule 218) moved by a PPPP senator on the current political and security situation in the country with particular reference to Balochistan, FATA and Rawalpindi incident.
Order and Institutionalization
- Senators spoke on six points of order consuming 10 minutes of the proceedings.
- A PML-N senator and the Chair exchanged harsh words for not allowing a point of order.
- No protests, boycotts or walkouts were recorded during the sitting.
- ‘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
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