Islamabad: The preliminary delimitation lists were released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday, marking a significant step in the electoral process.
In a statement released by the ECP, it was disclosed that the preliminary delimitation report, in conjunction with Form 5 lists and initial delimitation maps, has been made accessible on the commission's official website.
The publication of preliminary constituencies is set to span 30 days, commencing from September 27 and concluding on October 26.
During this period, voters of the respective constituencies are invited to submit objections or representations regarding the preliminary constituencies.
Originally, the ECP had outlined an initial delimitation schedule on August 17, with plans to finalize the initial delimitation process on October 7 and subsequently release preliminary delimitation proposals and accompanying reports on October 9. However, on September 1, the ECP announced a 14-day compression of the delimitation timeline, with the aim of concluding the process by November 30 instead of the initially planned December 14 date.
This development paves the way for the Election Commission to make a decision on the scheduling of elections, tentatively set for the last week of January. The specific election date has yet to be officially announced.
The report also detailed the methodology employed by the ECP in delimiting national and provincial assembly seats. It explained that the population of each province or area was divided by the total number of general seats, resulting in the average population per National Assembly seat.
A similar process was applied to provincial assembly seats, with fractions exceeding 0.5 being considered as one seat, and fractions below 0.5 disregarded.
Furthermore, the report acknowledged the unique situation in Balochistan, where multiple districts were amalgamated to form a single seat. This approach was also utilized in other provinces as needed, with district shares determined by dividing the district's population by the quota per seat for the National or Provincial Assembly, as applicable.
According to the report's findings, Punjab has the highest number of seats in the National Assembly, followed by Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and Islamabad. Punjab, with a population of 127.6 million, was allocated 141 National Assembly seats, each constituency based on a quota of 905,595. The Punjab Assembly was assigned 297 seats, with a quota of 429,929 per seat.
In Sindh, 61 National Assembly seats were designated for a population of 55.6 million, with a quota of 913,052 per seat. The Sindh Assembly had 130 seats, each with a quota of 428,432.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with a population of 40.8 million, was granted 45 National Assembly seats, each with a quota of 907,913. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was allotted 115 seats, with a quota of 355,270.
Balochistan, with a population of 14.8 million, was allocated 16 National Assembly seats, and each constituency was divided based on a quota of 930,900. The provincial assembly of Balochistan comprised 51 seats, with each seat divided based on a quota of 292,047.
Meanwhile, Islamabad, the federal capital, with a population of 2.3 million, was allocated 3 seats, and each seat's quota was determined to be 787,954.
Last week, the ECP announced that the general elections in Pakistan would be held in the last week of January 2024. The electoral body also indicated that the final list of constituencies would be published on November 30, following the consideration of objections and suggestions related to the delimitation.
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