Home Global Village Deadlock over delimitation bill may delay elections

Deadlock over delimitation bill may delay elections

deadlock
  • 56
    Shares

The government may be faced with an uphill task in passing the delimitation bill in the national assembly since there is a deadlock on the floor of the Parliament regarding the findings of the 2017 census.

Opposition leader Khurshid Shah has made it clear that the opposition will not support the bill since the government has failed to address the concerns of the opposition regarding census findings in Sindh.   

All opposition parties are apparently standing united and are refusing to budge on this issue.

If the Parliament fails to pass this legislation by 10th Nov it could possibly cause a delay in the 2018 general elections.

This deadlock may have serious repercussions since the Election Commission Pakistan (ECP) has already called for the required legislation by Nov 10 to allow it to carry out the massive exercise of making fresh delimitation of constituencies and preparing new electoral rolls.

Although the number of seats in the National Assembly will remain at 272, fresh delimitation would affect Punjab, dominated by the ruling PML-N, as the province stands to lose up to nine seats in the lower house. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will acquire five new seats, Balochistan three and the Islamabad Capital Territory will receive one additional seat.

However, if the Parliament fails to pass this legislation by 10th Nov it could possibly cause a delay in the 2018 general elections. ECP requires at least 6 months to complete the process of delimitation and apply the changes for the upcoming polls.

Additionally, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has announced that it will also not support the constitutional amendment bill if the government does not address the concerns of PPP and MQM.

If the Parliament fails to meet the deadline set by ECP, the 2018 elections may end up being conducted on the old constituency format.

The opposition leader has also acknowledged this as a possibility but clarified that this plan had not yet been shared with opposition partners.

Additionally, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has announced that it will also not support the constitutional amendment bill if the government does not address the concerns of PPP and MQM.

PTI information secretary Shafqat Mehmood said that his party had supported the bill in principle, but it would not vote for it at the cost of the opposition’s unity.