The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has taken a significant step forward in preparing for the upcoming general elections in 2023 by releasing the preliminary constituency delimitation details. These preliminary lists define the boundaries for both national and provincial assemblies across the country. The announcement has sparked discussions and debates, as it brings changes to the number of seats in various constituencies.
In Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, the number of seats in the National Assembly has increased from 21 to 22, while the Provincial Assembly seats have risen from 44 to 47. Furthermore, an additional seat has been allocated in each of the districts of Malir, East Karachi, and Central Karachi. Conversely, Khairpur and Thatta have seen a reduction in one seat each in the Provincial Assembly.
According to the details released by the Election Commission, the National Assembly will have a total of 266 general seats, with one constituency having over 800,000 registered voters. In the Punjab Assembly, there will be 297 general seats, in Sindh Assembly, 130 general seats, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, 115 general seats, and in the Balochistan Assembly, 51 general seats. The number of registered voters in these constituencies will vary between 300,000 to 500,000.
The preliminary delimitation maps are available on the Election Commission’s website, and objections or suggestions regarding these boundaries can be submitted until October 27th. The Election Commission will then review and make decisions on these objections from October 28th to November 26th. It is important to note that objections can only be raised by registered voters of the respective constituencies.
After addressing these objections, the Election Commission will release the final electoral lists on November 30th. The commission has made efforts to ensure that constituencies have an equal number of voters, but in Balochistan, several constituencies span across different regions due to the sparse population.
For the National Assembly, a minimum population of 955,595 has been set for a single seat in Punjab, 913,520 for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1,352,000 for Sindh, and 909,900 for Balochistan. Similarly, in the Punjab Assembly, the minimum population required for a general seat is 492,992, 482,432 for Sindh, 355,270 for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and 292,047 for Balochistan.
The release of these preliminary constituency delimitation details marks a significant milestone in the lead-up to the 2023 general elections. It ensures that electoral boundaries are redrawn to reflect population changes and demographics, a crucial step in maintaining fairness and representation in Pakistan’s democratic process. As Pakistan prepares for its next democratic exercise, these changes will have a profound impact on the distribution of political power and the representation of its citizens in the National and Provincial Assemblies.