Islamabad: The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) on Saturday raised apprehensions regarding the draft delimitation proposed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), highlighting that over one-fifth of constituencies exhibit a population variation exceeding 10 percent.
The watchdog organization noted that, as per the ECP's proposal, as many as 180 constituencies for national and provincial assemblies do not align with the legal requirement of maintaining a 10 percent population variation.
FAFEN expressed concern that this move "undermines the principle of equal suffrage that was otherwise upheld by the Parliament through latest amendments in the Elections Act, 2017."
In light of amendments enacted on August 4, 2023, with parliamentary approval, the Election Commission was expected to disregard district boundaries to ensure that the population variation among an assembly's constituencies does not typically exceed 10 percent, as observed by FAFEN.
The organization explained that this variation can be determined by comparing the population of a constituency with the average population per assembly seat, often referred to as the quota per seat. Quotas are calculated by dividing the population of a province, as determined by the last officially published census, by the number of seats allocated to that province in national or provincial assemblies, as defined in the Constitution.
FAFEN's statement highlighted that an analysis of the preliminary delimitation report for 2023 and draft constituency lists indicates that the parliamentary emphasis on minimizing population variation was not extensively applied to ensure vote equality in assembly constituencies.
FAFEN further revealed that the newly added provision in the law was only employed in delimiting 11 National Assembly constituencies (six in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three in Punjab, and two in Sindh) and one Punjab Assembly constituency. Consequently, the number of constituencies with over 10 percent population variation increased from 170 (82 National Assembly and 88 Provincial Assembly) in the 2022 delimitation to 180 (83 National Assembly and 97 Provincial Assembly) in the 2023 draft constituency lists.
This means that more than one-fifth of the total demarcated constituencies do not comply with Section 20 (3) of the Elections Act, 2017, as per FAFEN.
The proposed National Assembly constituencies with more than 10 percent population variation include 35 in Punjab, 22 in Sindh, 21 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and five in Balochistan. Similarly, Provincial Assembly constituencies include 30 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 26 in Punjab, 25 in Balochistan, and 16 in Sindh.
FAFEN emphasized that the issue of population inequality among assembly constituencies persists due to the Election Commission's failure to update Rules 10 (4) and 10 (5) of the Election Rules 2017 to reflect the spirit of Section 20(3) as amended recently, which reads, "it shall not be necessary to strictly adhere to the existing district boundaries in exceptional cases."
These population inequalities among constituencies could potentially result in unequal voter representation, FAFEN warned. The organization called on the ECP to instruct the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to promptly publish census block-wise population data on its website, as voters would require this data for filing representations, as per Rule 12(2).
NAB recovers Rs. 2.3 trillion,saves $10 billion: Chairman
Representatives of leading financial institutions meet Privatization Minister
Gold price drops by Rs3000 per tola in Pakistan
PM Kakar summons PCB Chief Zaka Ashraf
Justice Naqvi’s pleas against show-cause notice fixed for hearing on Dec 15
Pakistan ready to take on India in much-awaited ACC U19 Asia Cup 2023 clash
Winter activity and political turmoil!
Government, opposition and public!
Present regime and dengue!
The repetition of history and the hidden sciences!
Whispers, rumors and rulers' narrative!
Imran Khan in a Big Trouble | Breaking News | GNN
No 'Bat' Sign In The Election ? | Aitzaz Ahsan's Shocking Statement | GNN
Bilawal Bhutto Criticism on Nawaz Sharif | News Headlines | 05 PM | 09 Dec 2023 | GNN
Maryam Nawaz Aggressive Speech At PMLN Youth Convention | Maryam Nawaz | GNN
Murad Ali Shah Made A Surprising Revelation | Breaking News | GNN
Nawaz Sharif Became Emotional During The Speech | Breaking News | GNN
Entertainment 2 days ago
Junaid Jamshed’s 7th death anniversary today
Regional 2 days ago
Rizz, the word of the year, explained
Technology 1 day ago
A24 is bringing its entire theatrical slate to HBO, Max, and Cinemax
Pakistan 1 day ago
PM's adviser Ahmed Cheema acquitted in assets beyond means case
Business 2 days ago
Steel price decreases significantly
Business 2 days ago
Gold prices rise slightly across Pakistan
Pakistan 2 days ago
Shireen Mazari's name removed from passport control list
Pakistan 2 days ago
IHC orders forensic of Bushra Bibi, Latif Khosa’s audio