Local bodies’ officials will remain suspended till July 25: ECP

The election body also says security officials deployed for polls have to take oath of performing duties honestly

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STAFF REPORT
ISLAMABAD
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday suspended officials of the local governments across the country.
All district mayors, deputy mayors, chairmen and vice-chairmen of the local government bodies would remain suspended until July 25. The chiefs of the cantonment boards across the country were also suspended. The decision was taken to ensure free and fair elections, the ECP said.
The parliamentary polls are scheduled to be held 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.
The ECP in a notification on Tuesday said that the army officials deployed for polling duty have been given powers of a first-class magistrate.
The election body also said that the security officials deployed for the polls have to take an oath. Letters has been sent to the secretaries of interior and defence along with the Inspector Generals of Police of all four provinces and the capital territory in this regard.
The returning officers will conduct the oath of security in-charges deployed in their respective districts, the letter said. The presiding officers will take oath from the personnel deployed at polling stations.
The affidavit, to be signed by the staff, states that the security personnel will perform their duties honestly and responsibly. It further adds that the security staff will fully implement the orders of ECP.

According to the affidavit, the security personnel will perform their duties without any discrimination or fear.
The ECP on July 7 had issued the code of conduct for security personnel deployed for election duties and to be deployed for security on polling day (July 25, 2018) inside and outside the polling stations.

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