ECP indirectly accepts monitoring failure by suspending all local bodies’ elected persons, army officials given magistrate powers

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ISLAMABAD (ENNS) Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has suspended on Tuesday all mayors, deputy mayors, chairmen and vice-chairmen of all local government bodies across the country.

Moreover, the suspended local bodies’ officials include the chiefs of the cantonment boards across the country as well.

The ECP said the action has been taken to ensure free and fair elections. General elections are set to be held across Pakistan on July 25.

The commission had earlier transferred civil servants across the country in order to ensure that no bureaucrat is able to exert influence during the pre-poll and poll process.

Moreover, the ECP issued a notification stating that the army officials deployed for polling duty have been given powers of a first-class magistrate.

According to civil society leaders who work on elections, the ECP decision is disappointing and such suspension cannot be appreciate.

Senior journalist Lala Hassan said ECP should have made its monitoring strong instead of suspending the local elected persons.

He said why army officials only, ECP should give magistrate’s power to police officials as well including staff deputed for election duty.

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