ISLAMABAD, November 29, 2015: The public release of the Senator’s attendance record has contributed in improving lawmakers’ participation in the proceedings of Upper House of the Parliament, says Free and Fair Election Network in Senate Attendance Report released here on Sunday.
The Senate Attendance Report of 121st Session is based on the attendance record of members shared on Senate website. The report also included comparison amongst the attendance records of 119th, 120th and 121st sessions of the Senate.
The Custodian of the House, Senator Raza Rabbani remained the most regular member of the House as he attended every sitting during 121st session as well as previous two sessions while a MQM lawmaker Barrister Farogh Naseem did not attend any sitting during these sessions. Similarly, the Prime Minister did not come to Senate during the last three sessions. The Leader of the House, Raja Zafar-ul-Haq was present during entire 121st session while Leader of the Opposition Aitzaz Ahsan attended seven of total ten sittings.
The report reveals that the number of Senators documenting their leaves through a laid out procedure has considerably increased over last three sessions. The absolute absence of Senators has also drastically come down with only one Senator remaining absent throughout the session. Thirteen Senators remained absent throughout the 119th Session and 14 throughout the 120th Session.
Though average sitting time remained unchanged over last three sessions, however, the number of members participating in the proceedings increased from 61 in 119th session to 84 in 121st session.
The attendance of female Senators has remained almost unchanged with 58% women Senators attending each sitting on average. Meanwhile the average attendance of male lawmakers fluctuated during this period as it was highest 64% during 119th session, fell to 54% during 120th session and jumped back to 59% in 121st session. The attendance record of individual members is also included in Annexure of the report.
The parliamentary leaders of ruling party PML-N and sole-member of BNP-M attended all the 10 sittings of the session followed by parliamentary leaders of MQM and PkMAP (who attended nine sittings each), JUI-F (8), ANP and PTI (7 each), PML (6), JI (5), PPPP, NP and PML-F (4 each) and BNP-A (2).
The Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Kamran Michael was present in three sittings followed by the Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage who attended two sittings while the Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs and Statistics was present in one sitting and applied for leave for two sittings.
It was the fourth session since the Upper House of the Parliament started to share the attendance record of its members with general public. An unprecedented step towards transparency has already started to show improvement in the presence and participation of the Senators in the proceedings of the Upper House – a prerequisite for any vibrant legislature that is responding to public aspirations and needs.
To download complete report, click here
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