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ECP issues initial report on delimitation of constituencies


The electoral watchdog further said that the publication of preliminary constituencies will continue for 30 days

Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Moving a step closer to the most sought-after general elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday released the provisional report on the delimitation of constituencies based on the recently concluded census.

An official statement issued by the poll organising authority stated that the preliminary report and map of constituencies can be viewed on the ECP’s website —

The electoral watchdog further said that the publication of preliminary constituencies will continue for 30 days till October 26. While voters of a constituency can approach the ECP if they have any objection to the delimitation.

The election watchdog said that it is mandatory that the person raising an objection must be from the relevant constituency. It also added that objections raised through courier, post or fax will not be accepted.

The ECP will decide on the objections from October 28 to November 26, according to the official communique. It added that district maps can be obtained from the ECP for a “small fee”.

In its report, the ECP stated that the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) published the final results of the 7th digital census on August 7, and the ECP launched the delimitation process under Section 17 of the Elections Act, 2017.

In this matter, the five delimitation committees were constituted for the preparation of draft proposals for the delimitation of constituencies of the assemblies.

The report also explained the ECP’s mechanism for the delimitation of National and provincial assembly seats.

“The population of the province/area has been divided by the total number of general seats and the average population or quota per National Assembly seat was obtained. Similarly, the population of a province was divided by the total number of general seats allocated to the provincial assembly of a province for obtaining a quota per seat. In calculating a total number of seats, a fraction of 0.5 and above was generally taken as one seat and a fraction below 0.5 was ignored,” the report said.

It also stated that because of Balochistan’s “peculiar situation” more than one districts have been clubbed for a seat. It added that the clubbing has also been made in other provinces where it was required.

“The share of a district was determined by dividing the population of that district with the quota per seat of the National Assembly, or as the case may be, of the Provincial Assembly,” the report also said.

Last week, the ECP had announced that general elections in the country would take place in the last week of January 2024.

The poll organising authority had also decided that the final list of constituencies would be published on November 30 after hearing the objections and suggestions related to the delimitations.

Subsequently, the polls will be held in the last week of January next year following the completion of the 54-day election schedule, the ECP statement added.

The ECP’s statement had finally ended the uncertainty surrounding the elections as the previous Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government’s move to approve a new census mandated the electoral body to carry out new delimitation before holding polls, sparking fears of an undue delay in polls.

As per the schedule announced by the ECP:

  • September 8 to October 7 — Delimitation of the constituencies to be held across the country.
  • October 10 to November 8 — Proposals regarding constituencies to be submitted.
  • September 5 to September 7 — A quota of constituencies of the national and provincial assemblies to be allocated.
  • August 21 — Constituency committees of four provinces to be established.
  • August 31 — Administrative matters related to the constituencies to be completed.
  • November 10 to December 9 — ECP to decide on the objections to the constituencies.
  • December 14 — Final publication of the delimitation

Last month, US Ambassador Donald Blome had called on CEC Sikander Sultan Raja to reaffirm his country’s support for “free and fair elections”, reiterating that choosing Pakistan’s future leaders is for the Pakistani people to decide.

The development came days after President Arif Alvi suggested a cut-off date for the holding of polls in a letter to CEC Raja.

The president had said that in the light of Article 48(5) of the Constitution, he has the authority and mandate “to appoint a date not later than 90 days from the date of dissolution [of assemblies], for holding of a general election to the assembly.”

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