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ISLAMABAD: Amidst accusations from some quarters of using a controversial exercise to redraw the voting map to favour Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in February 2024 elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday reduced six National Assembly seats, bringing the total number of seats to 336.

In a notification issued by the top electoral body detailing the final list of constituencies, the National Assembly’s general seats were reduced from 272 to 266, with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) representation decreasing from 51 seats to 45.

Following the delimitation process, the National Assembly seats for the merged districts have been halved from 12 to six, in adherence to the 25th Constitutional Amendment.

ECP refutes Babar Awan’s statement about KP’s seats being reduced

The adjustment, prompted by the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with KP, is rooted in population considerations.

The allocation of general seats in the NA is as follows: Punjab 141, Sindh 61, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 45, Balochistan 16 and three from federal capital. Besides, women will have 60 reserved seats, while minorities will be allocated 10 seats. Punjab will have a total of 371 seats, with 297 designated as general seats, while Sindh will have 168 seats, with 130 being general seats.

The KP provincial assembly will consist of 145 seats, with 115 being general seats and Balochistan provincial assembly will have 65 seats, including 51 general seats.

Notably, three Waziristan districts – Lower South, Upper South and North – now share a single seat, consolidating their previous individual representations. South Waziristan previously split into two districts and North Waziristan, which had one seat each, now share a combined representation.

Besides, the erstwhile Fata district of Orakzai has been merged with Hangu, resulting in the amalgamation of their respective seats into a single constituency.

Two seats in Kurram district, previously divided on sectarian lines, have now been unified.

In 1973 delimitation, ex-FATA had eight NA seats, aligning with the previous census. During General Pervez Musharraf’s administration, the merged districts were allocated 12 seats.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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