The recently announced results of the digital census in Pakistan have revealed a significant discrepancy in the distribution of districts across the country. This will make the process of redrawing boundaries for provincial assemblies’ elections more complex. Unlike the National Assembly seats, delimitation for provincial assembly seats can affect multiple districts.
Due to the absence of a National Assembly, it is not possible to increase the total number of seats in the provincial assemblies. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will have to allocate each district’s share within the current assembly strength. This means that seats can only be added to one district if another district loses its share, and vice versa.
There has been a recent amendment allowing the ECP to combine parts of two adjacent districts to create constituencies. This provision could potentially make the delimitation exercise more controversial.
The population figures show changes in the share of districts for provincial assembly seats in Punjab, Sindh, KP, and Balochistan. Some districts have an increased share, while others are set to lose seats.
The ECP official admits that the exercise can be challenging but believes that it can be done appropriately to create uniform constituencies.
Overall, there are concerns about the impact of redrawing boundaries and the possibility of controversies arising from the exercise.
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