ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain has approved the 24th Constitutional Amendment Bill 2017, passing it into law on December 22.
On December 19, the Senate had approved the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 with 84 votes in favour of the bill and one vote against, whereas the National Assembly had passed the bill last month.
On Dec 11, voting on the bill was postponed for the fifth time in the Senate. On Nov 27, the bill wasn’t passed as the required number of lawmakers were not present in the house. The house of 104 needed a two-thirds majority to pass the bill whereas less than 50 lawmakers were present.
It is worth noting that two-thirds majority in the Senate, having a total strength of 104, was required to get the constitutional amendment passed. The government had developed consensus with main political parties in the House to attain the required strength of 69 members.
The law seeks to carry out fresh delimitation of constituencies on the basis of officially published census results but will not change the 272 seats strength of the National Assembly.
It asks to allow delimitation for the general elections 2018 on the basis of the provisional results of the 6th Population and Housing Census 2017. The amendment sought in Article 51 (5) will allow to re-allocate seats as per provisional census results.
The law will decrease nine National Assembly seats (seven general and two women seats) of the most populous Punjab province, and will increase five seats (four general and women seats ) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three seats of the largest province of Balochistan (two general, one women seats) and one of federal capital.
The number of NA seats for Sindh and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) will remain the same.