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.