ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday issued a notification of the final report along with list of constituencies pertaining to 16 general seats allocated to the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in respect of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
According to a notification, a total of 11 representations were received against preliminary publication of constituencies and the commission had fixed dates of hearings and issued notices to all concerned in this regard.
The hearing process of the representations commenced on February 13, and culminated on February 21. After incorporation of ECP, the final list of constituencies has been published now in accordance with the provisions of section 21 of the Elections Act, 2017 read with rule 14 of the Election Rules, 2017.
The final list of constituencies of the provincial assembly, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in respect of erstwhile FATA, specifying the areas included in each constituency on form 7.
It said that for the purpose of the delimitation of constituencies of the Provincial Assembly in respect of 16 general seats allocated to the erstwhile FATA promulgated on 4th June, 2018, a delimitation committee was constituted on August 28, 2018 and also issued timelines for the said activity.
It added as per initial timelines, the preliminary list of constituencies was required to be published by 5th October, 2018 whereas the final publication was scheduled for 5th December, 2018.
However, due to a legal lacuna regarding inclusion of erstwhile Frontier Regions (FRs) in the delimitation or otherwise, an amendment was required to be carried out in the Elections Act 2017, hence the timelines were extended by 30 days each on 8th October, 2018, 1st November, 2018 and 28th November, 2018 consecutively.
In this connection, an ordinance for amendment in section 20 of the Elections Act 2017 was issued by the Federal Government on 1st January, 2019 which enabled the Commission to finalize the work pertaining to the preliminary list of constituencies.
The Commission notified the preliminary report and list of constituencies on 2nd January, 2019 by following the principles of the delimitation of constituencies set out in section 20 of the Elections Act, 2017.
The principles envisaged therein are that all constituencies shall, as far as practicable, be delimited having regard to the distribution of population in geographically compact areas, physical features, existing boundaries of administrative units, facilities of communication and public convenience and other cognate factors to ensure homogeneity in the creation of constituencies.
The notification said to facilitate the general public and for the sake of t transparency of the delimitation process, the preliminary list of constituencies of the provincial assembly pertaining to erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas was also made available on ECP's official website.
Similarly, the constituency-wise marked maps were also placed on the website to facilitate voters to file representations.
A Facilitation Center was set up at the ECP Secretariat Islamabad to provide copies of marked as well as unmarked maps of the districts and to receive representations from the voters.
In order to make the process of delimitation transparent, fair and just, representations were invited from the voters of the respective constituencies to meet the requirements of Section 21 of the Act.
The detail of constituencies and procedure for filing of representations against the preliminary list of constituencies were given wide publicity through electronic and print media.