Impasse continues in constituencies’ delimitation

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

Despite deadline given by the Election Commission of Pakistan to the parliament to pass the constitutional amendment for delimitation of constituencies by 10th November, the parliamentary leaders in their meeting chaired by Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq Tuesday failed to resolve their differences on the matter.
The MQM-P remained dissatisfied with briefings on the provincial census results by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The party’s parliamentary leader, Farooq Sattar, said that his party did not accept the census results. “If we have reservations over the census, how can we accept its provisional results?” he asked.
However, Sattar informed the media persons that he had proposed delimitation on the basis of the number of voters instead of the population figures.
While speaking to the media, PPP’s Naveed Qamar said that his party still stood by its demand to get the Constitutional Amendment Bill approved by the Council of Common Interests (CCI) before bringing it to the assembly.
National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said, “All political parties have agreed that elections should not be delayed.”
He said that the parliamentary leaders would now discuss the matter with their party heads and meet again on Wednesday at 11am after receiving directions from their leaders.
Earlier, Law Minister Zahid Hamid introduced the Constitutional Amendment Bill in the National Assembly on Nov 2 after an agreement among all parties during a two day meeting of parliamentary leaders of all parties. But soon after the introduction of the bill, the PPP’s parliamentary leader Syed Naveed Qamar declared the move “unconstitutional”, alleging that the government had played a trick on them by telling them that the bill was being moved in the light of the CCI’s decision although that was not the case.
The PML-N on Monday formed a five member committee tasked with meeting leaders from all the political parties to remove their concerns over the census issue in order to ensure timely elections.

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