ISLAMABAD – The Lower House of Pakistan’s Parliament on Thursday passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2019 after presentation of report on it by the Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs
The bill was moved in the House by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs which was passed by the National Assembly after voice voting.
The bill was laid earlier as an Ordinance in the House and as per Rules of Procedure and Conduct of business in National Assembly , an Ordinance laid before the Assembly under sub-rule (1) of rule 170 shall be deemed to be a Bill introduced in the Assembly on the day it is so laid.
The amendment bill sought insertion of section 2A after sub-section 2 in section 20 of the Election 2017. The new sub-section 2A is as follows “for the purpose of the delimiting Constituencies, for the general seats of Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for Tribal Areas two or more separate areas may be grouped into one constituency for their elections to be held in 2019 and bye-elections related thereto and thereafter this sub-section shall stand omitted”.
According to the Statement of Objects and Reasons, the Election Commission, after 25th Constitutional Amendment, is obliged to conduct elections on 16 general seats of erstwhile FATA including Frontier Regions for the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before July 25, 2019.
In order to avert disenfranchisement of ex-tribal areas including its non-contiguous Frontier Regions, the Commission suggested to insert identical provision for delimitation of general seats of newly allocated Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for erstwhile FATA.