Number of seats in 3 provincial assemblies increased | Pakistan Today

Number of seats in 3 provincial assemblies increased

The Upper House of parliament on Thursday passed the Delimitation of Constituencies (Amendment) Bill of 2011, which would lead to an increase in the number of seats in at least three provincial assemblies of the country, with Balochistan Assembly to retain its current number of seats.
According to Section 8(4) of the bill, which deals with delimitation of constituencies, the total seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly have been increased to 124 from the existing 123, with women’s seats and seats reserved for non-Muslims to stay at 22 and three respectively. In the Punjab Assembly, the number of total seats has been increased from the existing 368 to 371, also increasing the number of seats reserved for women from 65 to 66. One seat has been added to the Sindh Assembly to make it 168, with no addition in the women’s seats or the seats reserved for non-Muslims, which would remain 29 and nine respectively.
Subsequently, one new electoral constituency would be created in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, two new constituencies would be created in Punjab and one new electoral constituency would be created in Sindh. For the purpose of election to provincial assemblies, the Election Commission of Pakistan will divide each province into as many separate territorial constituencies as the number of general seats. The constituencies for the seats reserved for women and non-Muslims in the provincial assemblies shall be such that each province forms one constituency with as many such seats as are allocated to that province.
Section 7 of the bill states that on the basis of population, the seats in the National Assembly for each province, the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) and the federal capital territory were allocated as Balochistan 17, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 43, Punjab 183, Sindh 75, FATA 12 and the federal capital territory two, bringing the total to 332.
In addition to this number of seats, there shall be in the National Assembly 10 seats reserved for non-Muslims, making the final number to 342, which recorded no change in the existing number of National Assembly seats. The constituency for all seats reserved for non-Muslims in the National Assembly shall be the whole country. For the purpose of delimitating constituencies for general seats for FATA, two or more separate areas may be grouped into one constituency, the new law says.
Under the new law, the Election Commission of Pakistan may exercise its powers and perform its functions notwithstanding that there is a vacancy in the office of any one of its members, or that any of its members is, for any reason, unable to attend its proceedings and the decision of the majority of the members of the commission shall have the effect of the decision of the commission.
It is further provided in the new law that where the members attending the proceedings of the commission are four and they are equally divided in their opinion or where the members attending the proceedings of the commission are three and there is difference of opinion amongst them, the matter shall be placed before the entire commission for decision.
The law said further the commission may authorise two or more of its members, acting together, to exercise and perform all or any of its powers and functions. Where two or more members are authorised, their decision shall be expressed in terms of the opinion of the majority or if they are equally divided, the matter shall be placed before the commission.
The Standing Committee on Law held two meetings to approve further amendments to the “Delimitation of Constituencies Act of 1974”, and in the second meeting held on August 24 in which the bill was finalised, no senator from the opposition participated. All the senators who finalised the bill belong to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party.

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