• Karachi now has 22 and 47 national and provincial assembly seats, respectively
• NA seat increased in district South, while Malir, East and Central get one more PA seat each
KARACHI: The electoral mandate and parliamentary representation of Karachi in national and provincial assemblies have increased after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued the preliminary list of delimitation of electoral constituencies, increasing the country’s commercial capital’s share by one NA seat and three PA seats.
The National Assembly seat is increased in district South while Malir, East and Central districts get one additional seat each in the Sindh Assembly.
The fresh calculation emerged after the ECP on Wednesday published lists of preliminary delimitation.
The step is seen as first major move towards the next general elections scheduled by the constitutional body for the last week of January 2024 — which is over two months after the constitutionally mandated deadline of 90 days.
The preliminary delimitation report says that the share of seats in the national and provincial assemblies have been worked out on the basis of final results of the 2023 census.
However, the officials and sources said that the number of total seats of Sindh province both in national and provincial assemblies remained unchanged because the increase in number of one seat in Karachi in the National Assembly and three in the Sindh Assembly would lead to a cut in the same number of seats in rural districts.
“For instance number of Karachi seats in National Assembly has increased from 21 to 22,” said an official source citing the preliminary report of the delimitation based on fresh census numbers. “Similarly, the number of Sindh Assembly seats in the city has gone up from 44 to 47. The Karachi NA constituencies will consist of from NA-229 to NA-250. In 2018, it was from NA-230 to NA-250.”
The National Assembly seat in Karachi would be increased in district South as the number of seats in district Sanghar would be decreased from three to two in the next polls according to the preliminary delimitation, said the official.
“Similarly the increase in Sindh Assembly seats each in Malir, East and Central districts would lead to decline in each provincial assembly seat in Khairpur, Sanghar and Thatta districts,” he added.
“Another interesting calculation which emerged after the fresh calculation in the preliminary delimitation report is that three rural districts — Kashmore, Jacobabad and Shikarpur — have been clubbed for National Assembly seats and they would have combined electoral representation in the parliament with four members from their constituencies.”
The population of Pakistan’s largest city increased from 16.02 million in 2017 to 20.3m as per the approved results of the National Digital Census of 2023, carried out last month by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government just days before the dissolution of assemblies on August 9 signifying that a delay in the general elections slated to take place later this year was almost certain.
The officials said the preliminary report also invited parties and individuals to contact the ECP if they had any objection and reservation over the fresh calculations for the country’s next parliamentary electoral mandate.
“All representations or objections to the draft proposal should reach the secretary, Election Commission of Pakistan within 30 days of the date of its [preliminary report] publication positively i.e. on or before October 27, 2023,” the official quoted the ECP report as saying.
“Any representation after due date shall not be entertained. A voter in a constituency may, within above specified period, make a representation to the Commission in respect of delimitation of that constituency proposed in this preliminary report by adopting the modus operandi under Rule 12 of the Election Rules, 2017.”
Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2023