The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday published the list of newly delimited constituencies as per the Digital Census 2023.
The draft list of delimited constituencies covers constituencies of the national assembly and the four provincial assemblies.
According to a notification issued by the commission on Wednesday, five delimitation committees were constituted to prepare draft proposals for delimiting constituencies of the respective assemblies.
"The population of the province/area has been divided by the total number of general seats and the average population or quota per National Assembly seat was obtained," the ECP explained.
Similarly, the population of a province was divided by the total number of general seats allocated to the assembly of a province for obtaining a quota per seat. In calculating the total number of seats, a fraction of 0.5 and above was generally taken as one seat and a fraction below 0.5 was ignored, it read.
For the national assembly, the ECP has delimited a total of 266 constituencies spread over a population of 241 million, this puts the average at 906,015.038. However, the average population size on which a constituency was based in the ECP report was 907892.61.
There were at least 46 constituencies based on a population of over a million people.
The smallest constituency was NA-1 Chitral, with a population count of just 515,935. It was followed by NA-26 Mohmand with 553,933. There were just two constituencies with a population of less than 600,000.
The largest constituency was NA-39 Bannu, with a population of 1.358 million, followed by NA-8 Bajaur, with a population of 1.29 million.
“The share of a district was determined by dividing the population of that district with the quota per seat of the National Assembly, or as the case may be, of the Provincial Assembly,” the notification said.
The notification showed that Punjab had the most seats in the National Assembly followed by Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Islamabad, reflecting the population in each province.
Punjab, with a population of 127.6 million, has been given 141 seats in the national assembly and each constituency has been divided based on an average quota of 905,595. For the Punjab provincial assembly, 297 seats have been allocated with each seat quota determined at an average of 429,929.
In Sindh, 61 NA seats have been set for 55.6 million people. This comes to a quota of around 913,052 per seat. For the Sindh Assembly, 130 seats have been divided on a quota of 428,432 per seat.
In Khyber Pakhtunkha (KP), the census showed a population of 40.8 million with 45 NA seats. This meant that each NA seat in the province was divided over an average of 907,913 people. For the provincial assembly, 115 seats were divided per an average quota of 355,270 people.
In Balochistan, 14.8 million people were given 16 NA seats and each constituency has been divided on a quota of 930,900. The provincial assembly of the provinces has 51 seats and each seat has been divided on the quota of 292,047.
The notification said that because of Balochistan’s “peculiar situation”, multiple districts have been clubbed together for a seat. This pattern of clubbing districts has been repeated in some other provinces where the population over large areas is quite sparse.
Whereas, the federal capital territory of Islamabad - a city with a population of 2.3 million, has been given three seats with the average seat quota set at 787,954.
The ECP said that voters of the relevant constituencies could submit objections (representation) on their constituencies' delimitations between September 27 and October 26. These representations will be dispatched to the ECP secretary for review.
The ECP, after listening to all stakeholders involved, will start issuing its decisions on these objections and either reject or approve the suggested changes between October 27 and November 26.
The person raising objections must be a registered voter of the constituency over which they are filing the representation. It must be filed personally in the ECP centre by them or by their authorised representative.