By Farah Jamil
‘Delimitation’ – also known as ‘Boundary Delimitation’ is the key feature of electoral system. Also, it is one those challenges that the electoral system of any country has to face before general elections. Delimitation of constituencies defines how representative and how fair elections will be. Delimitation should be occasionally performed by an Election Commission otherwise by an independent boundary commission. It is important to understand that general public and political parties pay a part in the process of delimitation.
For the next general elections, the delimitation process will formally begin shortly. Before this, first you need to know what exactly ‘delimitation process’ is?
What is the process of ‘delimitation’ and how does it work?
Data for Delimitation
Why to have neutral delimitation body?
There should be a neutral delimitation body for the whole process:
For seats distribution, ECP uses a ‘Fraction Formula’ – about which majority of people don’t have any knowledge.
According to this formula, the total population of Pakistan divided by 61 and the result will be used to find out the seats in each district. This is a way to finalize ‘free and fair’ delimitation process.
In recognition of the importance of delimitation, IBA CeJ conducted a workshop about the delimitation process and how to report on the procedure once the government publishes the new constituencies’ boundaries?
Most of the mid to senior level journalists attended the workshop to enhance their knowledge about the process of delimitation. According to them, “Delimitation is important because it covers the boundary setting process associated with voting areas. The workshop will help us in reporting and covering the delimitation for the upcoming general elections”.
During delimitation process, there should be balanced distribution of seats and population should be considered. Administrative and historical boundaries should also be considered and transparency should be ensured. Single member constituency should also be redefined.
We expect free and fair general elections 2018 – scheduled to be held in June this year in Pakistan.