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PM Abbasi to preside CCI meeting to discuss results of provisional census

Islamabad (Monitoring Desk): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will preside the meeting of Council of Common Interest (CCI) today in Islamabad to discuss the results of provisional census and delimitation of constituencies.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will chair the meeting, which is represented by the provincial chief ministers as well as selected members of the federal government.

The issue has been a bone of contention between Sindh and the federal government, especially as it has led to an impasse vis-à-vis the required legislation on the delimitation of new constituencies as per the latest population count.

Sindh claims it was undercounted in the new census, whereas the federal government rejects the charge.

Parliamentary parties have failed to agree, despite several meetings, over the new delimitation of constituencies for the National Assembly.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which is the ruling party in Sindh, demanded in the meetings that the matter must be resolved in a meeting of the CCI.

However, despite the deadlock, all political parties represented in Parliament are in agreement that the next elections should not be delayed.

In one of the earlier meetings, the parties had agreed on keeping the total number of NA seats the same and changing the quota of the provinces in light of the provisional census results.

By that formula, the seats in NA from Sindh and FATA were to remain the same, whereas those Punjab would decrease by nine. Thus, Balochistan would get three more NA seats, Islamabad one and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa five.

The Election Commission of Pakistan, which conducts the elections, has said it needs Parliament to pass necessary legislation in line with the latest census if next year’s elections are to be held on time.