FAFEN urges electoral fairness through delimitation exercise

ISLAMABAD  -  The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) on Sunday called upon the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to prioritize the principle of population equality in electoral constituencies during the upcom­ing delimitation exercise. 

It said the 7th Population and Housing Census-2023, necessitates adjustments to constituency bound­aries to ensure fair representation for all citizens, said a press release. FAFEN said in light of recent amend­ments to the Elections Act, 2017, including the addition of a new pro­viso to Section 20 (3), the ECP was no longer bound to strictly adhere to existing district boundaries. 

This change was implemented to prevent population disparities in constituencies from exceeding 10 per cent, it added. It emphasized that such measures were essential to uphold the fairness of the elec­toral process, as stipulated under Article 218 (3) of the Constitution. 

FAFEN highlighted that the unequal size of constituencies not only vio­lated citizens’ constitutional right to equality (Article 25) but also under­mined the spirit of fair representa­tion. The insertion of the new proviso in Section 20 (3) effectively neutral­ized the requirement that previously compelled the ECP to consider exist­ing administrative unit boundaries during delimitation, it added.

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