ISLAMABAD, October 8, 2015: The fourth sitting of the ongoing 120th session of the Senate was marked by opposition’s walkout against government’s failure to repatriate pilgrims’ dead bodies from Saudi Arabia and trace those still missing in the incident, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting was adjourned due to lack of quorum after the walkout by Opposition lawmakers as minimum required strength of 26 lawmakers (25%) was not available in the House to continue the proceedings.
The House witnessed low attendance with only six (5%) legislators present at the start and 22 (21%) at the time of adjournment. The Leader of the House was not present while the Opposition Leader attended the entire sitting.
An adjournment motion (AM) regarding human trafficking to overseas country was withdrawn by the mover after suggestion from the Chair to move a motion under Rule 218 for discussing this particular issue.
The House took up a Calling Attention Notice (CAN) regarding sale of hi-octane at higher rates in District Sialkot. Another CAN regarding ignoring of Sindh’s (Rural) quota in vacancies at FIA was not taken due to mover’s absence.
One of the three AMs about dispatching incorrect bills to electricity consumers was debated. Four lawmakers – two from PkMAP, one each from NP and PML-N – discussed it for 14 minutes.
Two other AMs regarding reported change in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route and failure of OGRA in fixing sale LNG price could not be discussed due to opposition’s walkout.
Some key observations are as follows:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for two hours and 19 minutes
- The sitting started at 1003 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours
- Chairman presided over the sitting for an hour and 56 minutes while Deputy Chairman chaired the sitting for 23 minutes
- The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting
- The Opposition Leader attended the entire sitting
- Prime Minister did not attend the sitting
- Six (5%) senators were present at the start and 22 (21%) at the time of adjournment
- Parliamentary leaders of PML, PkMAP, BNP-M, PPPP , PML-N and PTI were present
- None of the minority member was present
- Seven members applied for leave
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up a CAN regarding sale of hi-octane at higher rates in District Sialkot.
- An AM on dispatching incorrect bills to electricity consumers was discussed by four lawmakers for 14 minutes.
- A PPPP lawmaker’s privilege motion regarding various answers submitted in response to a similar question on mobile phone service in an area of KPK was referred to the relevant committee.
- Four out of 12 starred questions appearing on the agenda were answered by the relevant departments while the Senators also raised 13 supplementary questions.
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers raised seven POs which took 33 minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- The Opposition lawmakers walked out against government’s failure to repatriate pilgrims’ dead bodies from Saudi Arabia and trace those still missing in the incident. They did not return till the end of the sitting.
- A PPPP lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1140 hours, following which the Chair suspended the sitting and it resumed at 1220 hours. The quorum was found to be incomplete after the count, following which the sitting was adjourned to meet again on Friday.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public
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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 are excepted.
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