Senate passes constituencies delimitation bill unanimously
MABAD - The Upper House of the Parliament Thursday unanimously passed the Delimitation of Constituencies (Amendment) Bill, 2011 by bringing changes in the Delimitation of Constituencies Act 1974.
The statement of objects and reasons of the Bill, that was moved by Law Minister Moula Baksh Chandio, states that the proposed amendments in the Delimitation of Constituencies Act, 1974 are essentially required to bring the provisions of the Act, in conformity with Articles 51, 106 and 218 of the Constitution as amended by the Constitution (18th Amendment) Act, 2010. The Bill amending Section 7 of the Delimitation of Constituencies Act, 1974 says that on the basis of the population, Balochistan has been allocated a total 17 seats including 14 general and 3 in the National Assembly. Similarly, a total 43 seats including 35 general and 8 women seats have been allocated to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in NA while Punjab has been allocated a total 183 including 148 general and 35 women, Sindh 75 including 61 general and 14 women, FATA a total 12 seats and Federal Capital two seats in the National Assembly. There would be a total 332 seats in the National Assembly, besides, 10 seats are reserved for the non-Muslims.
Under the Section 8 of the Bill, provincial assembly of Balochistan has been allocated 65 seats including 51 general seats, 11 for women and three for non-Muslims, KP provincial assembly 124 including 99 general seats, 22 women seats and three non-Muslims. Similarly, Punjab assembly has been allocated 371 seats with 297 for general seats, 66 for women and 8 for non-Muslims and Sindh has been divided into 168 separate territorial constituencies including 130 for general seats, 29 for women and 9 for non-Muslims.
Under Article 218 of the Constitution as amended by the 18th Amendment, the Election Commission consists of a Chairman and four members, each of whom has been a judge of a High Court from each province.
The bill says, Provided that where the members attending the proceedings of the Commission are equally divided in their opinion (a) If the Chairman is one of the members attending, his opinion shall prevail and the decision of the Commission shall be expressed in terms of that opinion; and (b) in the other case, the matter shall be placed for the decision before the commission.
Under the new Bill, the Commission may authorize one or more of its members, acting singly or together, to exercise and perform all or any of its powers and functions under this Act.