Utilising new census data can delay elections, PBS informs Senate | Pakistan Today

Utilising new census data can delay elections, PBS informs Senate

–Asif Bajwa says hold elections on old census data

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has apprised Senate that if the government insists on holding the coming general elections based on the final results of 2017 census, then it will have to delay the elections.

During a meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Privatisation and Statistics on Wednesday, Chief Census Commissioner Asif Bajwa informed the committee the final results will be released by the end of April 2018, following which the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would take four months for delimitation of constituencies.

In order to hold elections on time, old census data will have to be used, as general elections are expected to be held after June 2018.

Earlier in June, the chief census commissioner informed the ECP chief that the final census report on the national, provincial and district level would be finalised in April 2018, which would then be handed over to the ECP for delimitation of the constituencies.

However, the ECP had said the 2018 general elections would have to be conducted in accordance with the existing delimitations as it would not be in the position to start work on fresh delimitations before obtaining final census data.

However, the Interprovincial Coordination Committee had agreed to the federal government’s proposal to allow the ECP to use provisional census data for carrying out delimitation of constituencies under the Election Bill 2017.

The PBS turned down the request for re-verification of 2 per cent of the census blocks; Minister for Statistics Kamran Michael claimed that a verification process would require the assistance of the army and other institutions which was not possible to arrange, adding He said only Sindh has raised objections over the census results which will be resolved soon.

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