ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday suspended heads of Local Bodies across Pakistan to ensure free, fair and transparent general election.

The Commission in light of Article 218(3) of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 along with section 4 and 8 (c) of the Election Act, 2017 may take all necessary steps to prevent any action on the part of the local government institutions amounting to influence the results of upcoming polls by depriving candidates of having level-playing field.

They will remain suspended till 25th of this month.

The commission has also suspended heads of cantonment boards during this period.

The announcement was made hours after representatives of political parties expressed reservations over unnecessary restrictions imposed by the ECP and caretaker government regarding their election campaigns.

They were speaking at an all parties’ conference organised by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in Karachi.

Major political parties of the city, including the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Awami National Party (ANP) attended the conference. However, some parties such as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pak Sarzameen Party opted not to participate in the event.

Meanwhile, the election supervisory body also directed the provincial governments to ensure smooth functioning with regard to sanitation and cleanliness during the period of suspension.