Islamabad -  The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has written a letter to the Ministry of Law and Justice to take necessary legislative and administrative steps so that the commission could reallocate national and provincial assembly seats in accordance with the new census results.

In a letter to Law Secretary Karamat Hussain Niazi, ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad referred to the provisions of Article 51(5) which state that the National Assembly seats should be allocated to each province, FATA, and the federal capital according to the population.

The ECP official said that the provisional results shared by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics showed that “tangible demographic changes had taken place in the federal units” which may necessitate the reallocation of seats in both national and provincial assemblies.

He said that the ECP was obliged to carry out delimitation in “accordance with the provisions of Chapter-III of the Election Act 2017,” adding that section 17(2) ibid required the commission to delimit constituencies after every census result was officially published.

“Keeping in view the importance, magnitude of work and the time period required for completion of different stages of delimitation of constituencies, it is apprehended that in case of a delay in official publication of census results, timely completion of delimitation exercise could not be possible,” the letter reads.

The census provisional summary results, presented at a meeting of the Council of Common Interests on Friday, showed that the population has surged to a staggering 207.8 million, showing an increase of 75.4 million people in 19 years.