In what would reflect the growing trend of rural population’s migration to urban areas in Pakistan, particularly to big cities, the federal and all the four provincial capitals are set to have an increased share of National Assembly (Lower House) seats following the delimitation exercise in accordance with the provisional census 2017 results.)
Punjab capital Lahore’s tally of seat is set to rise from 13 to 14. With its population standing at 11.12 million, Lahore’s share comes to 14.26, which clearly means an additional seat.
Likewise, in Sindh, the six districts of Karachi– Pakistan’s economic capital, having a population of over 16m, have a share of 20.58, clearly indicating that the number of their seats will increase from 20 to 21.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP)– the country’s northern province, Peshawar district, with four seats at present, is all set to have an additional seat.
In Balochistan province, the proportionate share of its capital Quetta stands at 5.41 while it currently has four seats. That means the provincial capital will definitely get a fifth seat.
The number of seats in federal capital Islamabad will also increase from two to three.
With the Fata seats frozen at 12, there shall be one National Assembly seat for a population of 779,895, and the rest of 260 seats (total is 272 seats) are to be distributed among provinces and the federal capital proportionate to their share in population.
Delimitation bill becomes law with president’s approval, paving way for timely elections
In December, President Mamnoon Hussain signed off on the 24th Constitutional Amendment Bill 2017, passing it into law, DawnNews reported citing sources in the presidency.
The Senate had passed the crucial delimitation bill (based on 2017 Census provisional data) with 84 voting in favor of the motion and one against earlier in December, whereas the National Assembly had passed the bill in November.
The law seeks fresh delimitation of constituencies ahead of the upcoming General Election on the basis of provisional results of the population census, and clears the hurdle for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold the coming general elections, due in July-August next year, on time.
With elections due by mid of the next year, the ECP needed at least five months to revamp the constituencies — known as delimitation.
According to the reallocation of seats under the bill, National Assembly seats will increase for Balochistan (2 general seats + 1 woman seat), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (4+1) and federal capital (1+0), while seats for Punjab will decrease (-7 and -2). The seats for Sindh will remain the same.
(Based on original reporting in Dawn and Express Tribune)