PKONWEB Report – The National Assembly on Monday unanimously passed the 26th Constitutional Amendment Bill, formalizing an increase in the number of seats for the erstwhile Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in the National Assembly and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
The bill amended Article 51 and Article 106 of the Constitution, to increase the seats for the newly-merged tribal districts to 12 in the National Assembly and to 24 in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly.
More than 280 members took part in the voting for different clauses of the bill. During the roll call 288 came and voted in support, while no one opposed. Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was present in the house, briefly spoke on the bill and took part in the voting process. He praised the lawmakers’ unity on the bill.
The PTI government wanted to get the bill passed last week, soon after the house committee on law and justice presented its report. However, the opposition refused to vote on the bill without holding a thorough debate in the National Assembly.
Under the Constitution, the elections in erstwhile Fata areas for the provincial assembly seats are to be held by July 25 this year. However, some lawmkers suggested they would be moving an amendment seeking a six-month extension in the deadline for holding of the elections.
Former Fata merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through the 25th Constitutional Amendment Bill passed on May 31, 2018. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has already announced a schedule for the election to 16 seats for the merged districts.