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March 20, 2018

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Furore over delimitations: ECP to hear objections

ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Monday made it clear that it is its mandate to hear objections to the delimitations of constituencies and the hearings will be held on district basis.

It said this during a meeting of the working group of the Special Committee on Delimitation of the Constituencies. The Parliamentarians have expressed serious reservations over the delimitation of constituencies conducted by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as, according to them the exercise has changed the whole demography of the constituencies. They have further objected that the delimitations have been carried out in violation of rules and on an arbitrary fashion. The constituencies in some cases have been demarcated clock wise, in others on the basis of Patwar circles and in yet some other cases purely on the demographic basis.

The meeting of the working group of the Special Committee on Delimitation of the Constituencies was chaired by Daniyal Aziz. The parliamentarians raised questions on the different procedure adopted for delimitation of about 70 percent of the constituencies.

The ECP did not respond to the objections of the parliamentarians. The Chairman of the Committee observed that there is a need for cooperation for formulating proposals for delimitation of the constituencies.

He cited the example of Abbotabad which following the delimitation has three provincial assembly constituencies. Daniyal Aziz asked the ECP to explain the anomaly. He further said there is huge difference in the south and north of the provincial and National Assembly constituencies. Aliya Kamran said the maps posted on the ECP website are different from the maps of the Survey of Pakistan.

Fafen had pointed out that in 26 percent of constituencies, demographic difference is above 10 percent while there are 72 constituencies where demographic ratio has bigger difference. It was pointed out that in NA-35, there is a major difference of 60 percent in the demographic ratio in comparison with other constituencies.

A Fafen representative pointed out that in two constituencies of Islamabad, rural and urban areas have been included. The officials of the ECP have asked the MPs to submit their objections for consideration.

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