NA legislation paves way for timely elections

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Thursday passed the 24th Constitution Amendment Bill 2017 by a 242-1 vote, paving the way for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to carry out fresh delimitation of constituencies ahead of the next general elections on the basis of provisional census data.

In a major development, in order to win the crucial support of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for the bill seeking reallocation of seats of the legislatures, the government in a last-minute meeting agreed to increase the number of auditable population census blocks from one to five per cent.

It was during the extended Maghrib prayers break that NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq convened a meeting of parliamentary leaders of the MQM, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in his chamber after the Muttahida showed its reluctance to vote for the bill without addressing the party’s concerns over the census. Agencies