The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday announced that fresh delimitation of constituencies cannot be carried out for the next general elections due to a delay in the publication of the population census organisation (PCO) report.
ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad Khan made the statement in a meeting held to review the progress of preparation for the next Senate and general elections in the county.
“As the population census report is to be published by the PCO in the second half of 2013, as informed by them, and as no fresh delimitation is to be carried out for next general elections, therefore the ECP decided that the Provincial Election Commission (PEC) shall submit proposals for redescription of constituencies within 10 days,” the secretary said.
“The proposals received from the PECs shall be placed before the Election Commission for its further consideration and decision. It will be purely an internal exercise and will be completed by the end of February, 2012,” Khan added.
In the context of the implementation of Supreme Court directions with regard to fresh delimitation in Karachi, the PEC of Sindh said that meetings are in progress with respective provincial authorities.
The decision has been taken after the PCO informed the ECP that the census report, which indicates demographic changes for delimitation, will be completed by the second half of the 2013, an official of the ECP explained.
The secretary said that all efforts are being made by NADRA to complete the exercise with regards to preparation of preliminary electoral rolls, followed by final electoral rolls, as soon as possible. A report in this regard has been sent to the Supreme Court.
He said that it has also been decided that a fully-fledged campaign may be launched for voter education before and during the display period of preliminary electoral rolls, so as to enable as many eligible voters to benefit from the display centres and check their votes as possible.
With regard to controlling election expenses, a meeting with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will be held on January 11 in continuation with the previous meeting held a few months back to chalk out further course of action to streamline political financing, he added.
With regard to steps taken by the ECP to curb bogus ballot papers, the secretary said that the Printing Corporation of Pakistan and Security Printing Corporation have been asked to arrange non-market paper containing special security features, including watermarks, to preclude the possibility of printing of bogus ballot paper.
He further said that a working paper was approved to be prepared with regard
to requisite legislation and the holding of local government elections in the provinces. Chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Hamid Ali Mirza, the meeting was attended by members of the commission, joint secretaries, provincial election commissioners, NADRA and census population authorities.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2012.