Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has called a meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) to discuss census and delimitation issues on Monday.
The meeting has been called because of a deadlock over the constitutional amendment regarding delimitation despite consecutive meetings of the parliamentary leaders.
The PPP has been demanding that the matter be sent back to the CCI for approval before a constitutional amendment can be brought.
Meanwhile, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM) also refused to accept census results and the proposed constitutional amendment that would not have affected Sindh’s seat in the National Assembly but increased Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and the federal capital’s share of seats, and reduced Punjab’s.
Other than the regular members — federal ministers for finance, inter-provincial coordination and industries and four provincial chief ministers — the ministers for law, statistics and planning will also participate by special invitation in Monday’s meeting.
The controversy around delimitation had begun after Law Minister Zahid Hamid introduced the Constitutional Amendment Bill in the National Assembly on Nov 2 after an “agreement” among all parties during a two-day meeting of parliamentary leaders, chaired by NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.
Soon after the introduction of the bill, however, the PPP’s parliamentary leader Syed Naveed Qamar had declared the move “unconstitutional”, alleging that the government had played a trick on them by telling them that the bill was being moved in the light of the CCI’s decision, although that was not the case.
An Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) official said that the commission requires four months to compete the process of delimitation of the constituencies and added that the elections can be held on time if the commission is provided with the provisional census report on time. “If a decision is not made in time, holding the elections [according to the schedule] will become difficult,” he said.