ISLAMABAD, May 10, 2012: The eighth sitting of Senate’s 81st session on Wednesday witnessed a walkout by the opposition PMLN over the Prime Minister’s conviction in the contempt case and a protest by a government ally, PML, over power outages and ministerial absence.
However the House, which met for three hours and 21 minutes, took up most the Agenda items listed on the Orders of the Day. Four out 14 questions on the Orders of the Day were taken up.
PMLN Senators continued their protest on the issue of Supreme Court’s verdict in the contempt case against the Prime Minister. The PML – a government coalition partner – staged an 11-minute protest over the power outages and ministerial absence.
The protest by coalition partners over the provincial autonomy on Tuesday, which led to their walking out of the House, was answered by the Federal Minister for Law and Justice.
Two Senators spoke on the president’s address to the joint session of the parliament in March.
The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition remained present throughout the sitting.
Over the attendance remained low. Eight Senators (8% of total Membership) were present at the start, while 18 (17%) were present when the sitting was adjourned.
An MQM Senator moved a privilege motion, saying the Drug Regulatory Authority has been made without the consensus of the provinces.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for three hours and 22 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1036 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The House proceedings started late by 36 minutes.
- The Chairman chaired the sitting.
- The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition remained present throughout the sitting.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the PMLF, JUIF and ANP attended the sitting.
- Eight Senators (8% of total Membership) were present at the start, while 18 (17%) were present when the sitting was adjourned.
- Two Minority Members were present during the sitting.
- Three Members applied for leave to be absent.
Representation and Responsiveness
- A Calling Attention Notice about the steps taken by the Government for implementation of clause (3) of Article 172 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was taken up by the House.
- Four out 14 questions appearing on the Agenda were taken up and responded by the relevant minister. Additionally, eight Supplementary questions were asked.
- The Federal Minister for Information Technology did not attend the sitting.
- Two Senators spoke on the president’s address to the joint session of the parliament in March.
- The Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Bill 2012 was passed by the House.
- A Federal Public Service Commission’s Annual Report for the year 2010 was presented in the House.
- The House offered condolences on the death of former Senator, Abdul Ghaffar Jatoi.
Order and Institutionalization
- Three Points of Order consumed 40 minutes of the sitting time. None of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- An MQM Senator moved a privilege motion, saying the Drug Regulatory Authority has been made without the consensus of the provinces.
- PMLN Senators staged a walkout over the Supreme Court verdict in the contempt case against the Prime Minister.
- PML staged a protest over the power outages in the country and ministerial absence in the House. The protest lasted 11 minutes.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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