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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Friday witnessed presentation of the Elections (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019, aimed at delimitation of general seats of newly allocated Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for erstwhile FATA.

The Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan laid the Ordinance in the House which sought amendment in Section 20 of the Election Act, 2017.

It asks for inserting new sub-section after sub-section (2) in section 20. The new section namely 2(A) will be as follows: “ For the purpose of delimiting constituencies, for the general seats of Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for Tribal Areas two more separate areas may be grouped into one constituency for their elections to be held in 2019, and bye-elections related thereto and thereafter this sub-section shall stand omitted”.

According to Statement of Objects and Reasons, “Pursuant to 25th Constitutional Amendment, the Election Commission is obliged to conduct elections on 16 general seats of erstwhile FATA including FR Regions for the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before July 25, 2019.

The Election Commission of Pakistan is facing great difficulty in delimiting the six ex-Frontier Regions, which have been annexed by the Provincial Government with other adjoining districts.

Section 20 (2) of the Election Act, 2017, provides that the Election Commission may while delimiting constituencies for the general seats in the National Assembly for the Tribal Areas, group two or more separate areas into one constituency.

In order to avert disenfranchisement of ex-Tribal areas including its non-contiguous Frontier Regions, the Commission suggested to insert identical provision for delimitation of general seats of newly allocated Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for erstwhile FATA”.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019