ECP calls for rapid publication of census results
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has demanded the publication of the results of the 7th Housing and Population Census by December 31 this year so that the process of redrawing constituencies can be completed on time, officials said. sources told The Express Tribune on Friday.
In a statement to the Ministries of Parliamentary Affairs and Housing and the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the commission wrote that it took up to four months to complete the process.
The sources of the commission indicated that the mandate of the current National Assembly as well as three provincial assemblies expires on August 12, 2023.
They added that the current Punjab Assembly will complete its term on August 14, 2023.
It was constitutionally mandatory to carry out a new delimitation of the constituencies after the census.
Electoral rolls also need to be revised after delimitation, the sources added.
The PBS has been asked to submit the preliminary results of the seventh census by December 31 this year.
Final census results were to be submitted to the ECP by February 2023.
According to the PBS, the seventh census will start from August 1 this year.
Earlier, the commission had already written two letters for the timely provision of census results, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the ECP has released the timetable for the second phase of local elections in Sindh. Elections will be held in Karachi, Hyderabad and Thatta divisions.
The ballot will take place on July 24 and declarations of candidacy can be filed from June 8 to 11. The final list of candidates will be posted on June 28.
Separately, it emerged on Friday that for the local government elections in Balochistan, the delimitation of Quetta and Lasbela constituencies has been completed.
According to the new zoning, 84 neighborhoods were created in the Quetta Metropolitan Corporation. 108 union councils (UCs) and 55 wards have been established in rural areas of Quetta district.
The district of Lasbela has five municipal committees and a municipal corporation center. 98 rooms have also been installed there. There are now 32 CUs in the rural areas of Lasbela district with 186 wards.
On April 26, the ECP had already hinted that the country might not be able to go to the polls before May 2023 because certain undertakings – including the census and delimitation – remained to be carried out.
In a press release issued by the agency’s media coordination and outreach wing, the ECP said that the PBS informed the commission on April 18 that the seventh population and housing census would begin on April 1. August and that its results would be provided to the commission in December. 31.
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In this case, the statement said, the delimitation of constituencies made on the basis of the 2017 census would be irrelevant, because the ECP would be required by the Constitution to resume work on the constituencies from January 1 next year. , which would take at least four months to complete.
Similarly, voters lists would also be updated as statistical block codes would be added and their boundaries would change in the new census.
However, the ECP had said that ongoing work on constituency delimitation would continue as planned.
It is pertinent to note here that the PTI had earlier this month approached the Supreme Court asking for a declaration that the demarcation timetable announced by the ECP on April 11 was “unlawful” and “unconstitutional”.
The petition, written by lawyers Faisal Chaudhry and Fawad Chaudhry, had also asked the Supreme Court to order the ECP and the Secretary to ensure that the upcoming electoral process is in accordance with the law and the Constitution and without wasting time or creating delays.
In response, the commission issued a statement to make it clear that it is discharging its constitutional and legal responsibilities impartially and will continue to do so without any pressure or persuasion.
The commission added that referrals for the disqualification of dissident PTI members, constituency delimitation and foreign funding cases were ongoing.