ECP issues preliminary report of national, provincial delimitation exercise

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday issued preliminary report of draft proposals for the delimitation of constituencies, inviting constituents to file objections within 30 days.

The report was released after completing the extensive exercise of redefining the boundaries of provincial and National Assembly constituencies in light of the provisional results of the census held last year.

According to the report, the National Assembly will continue to have 272 general seats. Out of these, Punjab will have the biggest share with 141 seats, followed by Sindh with 61 seats, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 39 and Balochistan 16 seats.

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) will have 12 seats while the capital Islamabad will have three seats in the National Assembly after the delimitation.

At provincial level, the total number of constituencies in Punjab Assembly will be 297, Sindh Assembly will have 130 general seats, KP Assembly 99 seats and Balochistan Assembly 51 seats.

Instead of Peshawar, Chitral will now be the first constituency of the national and KP assemblies. KP’s last constituency in the National Assembly will be NA-39 Dera Ismail Khan-II.

Geographical constituencies ranging from NA-40 to NA-51 will belong to Fata, while NA-52, 53 and 54 will be Islamabad’s.

Punjab’s first constituency in the National Assembly will be NA-55 Attock-I while the last constituency from the province will be NA-195 Rajanpur-III.

The first NA constituency belonging to Sindh will be NA-196 Jacobabad while the last constituency will be NA-256 Karachi Central-IV.

NA-297 Qila Saifullah/Zhob will be the first Balochistan constituency in the National Assembly while its last constituency will be NA-272 Lasbela/Gwadar.

Delimitation is the pre-electoral exercise of redrawing boundaries of constituencies so that the balance of population remains even throughout. It sometimes becomes just as important as the vote itself as unbalanced or discriminatory delimitation, also known as gerrymandering, can easily be used to gain an unfair advantage over political rivals — a concept not unheard of in Pakistan.

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