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November 15, 2017

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CCI meeting: KP CM goes against Imran’s early election demand

CCI meeting: KP CM goes against Imran’s early election demand

ISLAMABAD: In the meeting of Council of Common Interests held on Monday, the Chief Minister of KP, Pervez Khattak, did not even mention PTI chief Imran Khan’s public demand for holding early general elections.

Instead, what the CCI agreed to when implemented will kill any chance of early elections in the country. Sources said that the prime minister as well as all the chief ministers, including Khattak, were unanimous on the issue of holding elections on time next year.

Imran Khan demands early elections. The ruling PML-N, as well as most of the opposition parties, have not only sounded their dismissal of what the PTI chief seeks but insisted that the government should complete its term and election should be held on time in mid next year.

It is, however, interesting to note that the KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, who belongs to the PTI, did not even discuss the issue of early elections in the CCI meeting.

The CCI instead agreed to go for a constitutional amendment ensuring that, (a) the 2018 polls are held on the basis of 2017 census, (b) delimitation of the electoral constituencies is completed by the Election Commission of Pakistan on the basis of 2017 census for the next general elections.

The process of delimitation will take five to six months. As per the CCI’s agreement, the provisional result of the 2017 census will be notified early to ensure that the next general election is held on the basis of 2017 census. Following the implementation of what the CCI has decided, the option of early election will be out of question.

Initially, the PPP was not ready for the constitutional amendment because of its reservation about the 2017 census. But on Monday the chief minister Sindh conditionally agreed to support the government’s Delimitation Bill, 2017 paving the way for the delimitation of constituencies based on provisional results of the population census 2017. The CCI supported the CM Sindh’s condition of conducting the third party verification of one percent area in all the provinces for checking the authenticity of census 2017.

Under the Delimitation Bill 2017, though the number of general seats will be retained at 272, there would be a change in allocation for the provinces and on the basis of provisional results of the population census. Punjab will lose seven general seats and two reserved seats, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa will get an increase of five seats that include four general and one reserved seat, Balochistan will also get an increase of three electoral seats -- two general seats and one reserved seat while one general seat of the National Assembly will be increased for Islamabad and there would be no change in seats allocation for Sindh and Fata. The National Assembly’s general seats from the Punjab will be reduced to 141 from 148 and reserved seats for women will be cut down from 35 to 33.

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