LAHORE: A little less than two third of the respondents (64 per cent) in a survey conducted by The Express Tribune report changes in the boundary of their constituencies following de-limitations done by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ahead of the election held on October 31.
Interviews have been conducted with 111 respondents in four NA constituencies in the city. These include areas in the Walled City and some neighbourhoods in its vicinity.
The recently concluded elections in the province were based on de-limitations done by the ECP. The exercise was carried out after an earlier de-limitation of constituencies done by the provincial government (through its Local Government and Community Development Department) was annulled by the Lahore High Court.
Perception of voters who report a change in boundaries
Of those who say the de-limitations conducted by the ECP have affected their constituencies, a little less than half (46.5 per cent) find the revised boundaries better than the previous.
The reasons cited most frequently are more reasonable division of areas and easier to manage union councils and improved representation of people (because of higher number of UCs in the metropolitan corporation and election of councillors at the ward level).
The rest reporting changes in their constituencies are split almost equally among those who say they have no information about the exact boundaries of the revised constituency (28 per cent) and those who disapprove of the new boundaries (25 per cent).
Among the latter, major complaints are irregularities in voters’ lists (votes of a family scattered across UCs) and difficulty in understanding the constituencies in the revised plan.
Those who say there have been no changes in the boundary of their union council are little less than a third of the sample.
Only a fraction (five per cent) says they have no information about the boundary of their constituency.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2015.