ECP mulling to complete delimitations in 3 months

ISLAMABAD  -  The Election Commis­sion of Pakistan [ECP] has concluded that the delimitation of constit­uencies under the fresh digital population cen­sus should be complet­ed in three months.

However, the final de­cision is yet to be taken over a tentative time­frame to finalize the constituencies.

The ECP, which met here yesterday, formally started deliberations for delimitation of constit­uencies, following the directions of Council of Common Interests [CCI] to hold the general elec­tions on the fresh digital population census.

It the first meeting over delimitation of con­stituencies, the Com­mission contemplated different options in the light of a presentation by the legal team. The meeting reached a con­clusion regarding the delimitation timeframe of constituencies. 

According to sources, the meeting discussed in length the process of delimitation of constitu­encies and said that this process should not ex­ceed to three months. The division of constit­uencies [National and Provincial] over the cur­rent population census record is believed to af­fect some seats [constit­uencies] in Punjab and Sindh due to possible litigations and appeals from different contro­versial districts, experts believed. The top elec­tion body, in redistrict­ing of constituencies, has to think over a pleth­ora of tricky suggestions to avoid any complex­ity which leads to de­lay in polls. According to the previous practice, the normal population was around 0.3 million for national assembly and over 0.4 for the pro­vincial assemblies. But, as per the new popula­tion consensus [Digital census] the division can be increased to 0.6 mil­lion for national assem­bly and 0.7 million for provincial assembly, ex­perts opined. The Article 51(3) of the 1973 Con­stitution says, “the seats in the National Assembly shall be allocated to each province and the feder­al capital on the basis of population in accor­dance with the last pre­ceding census officially published.” The commis­sion issued instructions to the caretaker govern­ments to guarantee a fair and balanced playing field for all candidates and political parties in the upcoming general elections. The Commis­sion, in a notification, also banned transfers and postings of public of­ficers to ensure transpar­ent elections. The Com­mission also instructed the interim governments to abstain from declar­ing or initiating any new development projects at both the federal and provincial levels, except for those that were al­ready in progress or ap­proved prior to the issu­ance of the notification. About the formula for re­districting, some experts believed, it depends on their respective elector­al systems and constitu­tional provisions. This process would not take much time if not polit­icized. They said that there would be no diffi­culty in the delimitation of constituencies in Fed­eral Capital, KPK and Ba­lochistan but problems may emerge in some of the constituencies of Punjab and Sindh.

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