The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced on Saturday that the process of delimitation of all national and provincial assemblies, that begun on April 11, across the country, will continue uninterrupted till August 3, 2022.
The electoral body’s media coordination and outreach wing stated that the training of the delimitation committees, formed for the four provinces and Islamabad, is currently underway.
The ECP has obtained the maps and other data required for the delimitation process from the relevant departments.
According to the schedule, the committees will complete the preliminary delimitation of the of the national and provincial assemblies’ constituencies across the country by May 24, 2022.
Subsequently, the ECP stated that the preliminary publication of the delimitation will be completed by May 28. In its press release the commission announced that all appeals and objections towards the preliminary delimitation can be submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan Secretariat in Islamabad from May 29, 2022 to June 28, 2022.
The Election Commission will hear all the appeals and objections from July 1, 2022 to July 30, 2022.
The delimitation process for all constituencies is expected to be completed by August 3, 2022, including the final publication.
Earlier this week, on April 19, the Pakistan-tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the delimitation schedule issued by the electoral watchdog.
The petition was filed by PTI secretary general and former planning minister Asad Umar through his fellow party member, former federal information minister Fawad Chaudhry.
On April 11, the commission had announced the delimitation schedule for the national and provincial assemblies for the next general elections.
In a statement, it had announced that no new administrative unit would be formed anywhere in the country.
The PTI’s petition prayed that the schedule issued by the ECP should be declared “unconstitutional” and “illegal” as there was no need for new delimitation till the new census.
The party further contended that it was the responsibility of the ECP to hold free and fair elections and constituencies could not be demarcated in violation of the Constitution and law.
It further prayed to the court to validate the delimitation of May 3, 2018.
“[The] election commission and the secretary election commission should be ordered to ensure the election process and prevent any delay in it,” it read.
However, on Friday the apex court returned the PTI’s petition with reservations.
The application, which was returned by the court’s registrar, stated that the applicant had not approached the relevant forum.
It was said that the application had been filed in the top court directly whereas that the applicant had the relevant forum for redressal of their grievance. Meanwhile, as required by the law, relevant certificates were also not affixed with the application.