Constitutional Amendment Bill for delimitation approved by NA

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Constitutional Amendment Bill for delimitation approved by NA

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Thursday passed the constitutional amendment to consider the provisional results of census 2017 to make delimitation of constituencies for upcoming general election, 2018.

Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid presented the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 aimed for delimitation of constituencies which was passed with more than two third majority votes. A total of 242 members voted in favor of it and one member opposed it.

It is pertinent to mention that two third majority in the House (228 out 342) is required to get passed the Constitutional amendment and the government with consensus of main political parties succeeded to get passed this constitutional amendment bill.

The passage of the bill will not change the 272 seats strength of the National Assembly.

The bill will decrease nine National Assembly (NA) seats (7 general and two women seats) of the most populous Punjab province and will increase five seats (four general and women seats ) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three seats of the largest province of Balochistan (two general, one women seats) and one of federal capital. The number of NA seats for Sindh province and FATA will remain the same.

Earlier, Zahid Hamid presented the motion to consider the bill which was passed by the House. A total of 232 members voted in favor of the motion and one independent lawmaker Jamshed Dasti opposed it.

In favor of the clause 2, 233 MNAs voted and one lawmaker opposed it while 235 MNAs voted in favor of preamble and title of the bill and one opposed it.

The Bill seeks to carry out fresh delimitation of constituencies on the basis of officially published census results. It asks to allow delimitation for the General Election 2018 on the basis of the provisional results of the 6th Population and Housing Census 2017.

The amendment sought in Article 51 (5) will allow to reallocate seats as per provisional result of census. The existing Article 51 (5) requires that the “seats in the NA shall be allocated to each province, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the federal capital on the basis of population in accordance with the last preceding census officially published”. However, this bill will allow to have delimitation on the basis of provisional result of census.