President Mamnoon Hussain signed off on the 24th Constitutional Amendment Bill 2017, passing it into law on Dec 22, DawnNews reported on Wednesday, citing sources in the presidency.
The law seeks fresh delimitation of constituencies ahead of the upcoming General Election on the basis of provisional results of the population census.
According to the reallocation of seats under the bill, National Assembly seats will increase for Balochistan (2 general seats + 1 woman seat), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (4+1) and federal capital (1+0), while seats for Punjab will decrease (-7 and -2). The seats for Sindh will remain the same.
While the bill had eased through NA, the PPP's objections over the results of the census held this year made it difficult for the government to get it passed in the Senate.
Initially, the PPP demanded re-audit of census results in 1 per cent of the census blocks, which had been agreed upon in a Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting. But the party then demanded that the blocks be raised to 5pc when the bill was presented in the National Assembly on Nov 16.
When that demand too was met, the PPP raised objections over the proposed modus operandi for the re-audit exercise.
The position taken by the PPP, and the refusal of the government to meet its demands, led to a deadlock between political parties which was eventually broken when a meeting of parliamentary leaders was convened by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi where all of the PPP’s demands were met.