Two Walkouts, Lack of Quorum Mark Senate Sitting

ISLAMABAD, October 29, 2014: The Senate did not take up any agenda items on the orders of the day due to two walkouts by the Opposition and the 9th sitting of 108th session was adjourned due to lack of quorum on Wednesday, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).

The Opposition staged two walkouts and a protest within the house over the privatization of OGDCL and torture of its protesting employees in Islamabad. The entire opposition staged a walkout at 1733 hours following which Chair announced a prayer break that continued for 26 minutes.

The Opposition lawmakers returned to the house at 1759 hours chanting slogans against the government and spoke on 28 points of order for an hour and 47 minutes. They again walked out of the house at 1938 hours prompting the sitting’s adjournment at 1946 hours due to a lack of quorum which was pointed out by a PPPP lawmaker.

The House did not take up any agenda on the orders of the day except for six starred questions while 28 points of order consumed 59% of the proceedings’ time.

Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:

Members’ Participation in House Proceedings

  • The Senate met for three hours and two minutes.
  • The sitting began at 1644 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours witnessing a delay of 44 minutes.
  • The House had a prayer break for 26 minutes.
  • The Chairman presided over the entire sitting and the Deputy Chairman was also present.
  • The Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
  • The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition attended the entire sitting.
  • Twenty Senators (19%) were present at the start, 41 (39%) at the adjournment and a maximum of 54 (52%) during one point of the sitting.
  • The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PkMAP, PML, JUI-F and ANP attended the sitting.
  • Three minority members attended the sitting.
  • None of the member applied for leave.

Representation and Responsiveness

  • The House took up six out of 39 questions (requiring oral as well as written replies) while the members also asked 20 supplementary questions.

Order and Institutionalization

  • The entire opposition staged two walkouts and protested within the house over the privatization of OGDCL and torture of its employees in Islamabad.
  • Twenty-eight (28) points of orders consumed an hour and 47 minutes (59%) of the proceedings’ time.
  • A PPPP legislator pointed out the missing quorum. The Chair ordered the bells to be rung for five minutes and adjourned the sitting as quorum was found to be incomplete.

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 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.