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Chief Election Commissioner did not resign

ECP Secretary was seriously ill and took some time to recover

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Claim: The Chief Election Commissioner has resigned in a situation of political emergency. .

Fact: The Chief Election Commissioner has not resigned. However, the secretary of the ECP, Omar Hamid has been excused from working on account of his ill health..

On 7 January 2024, a viral message on WhatsApp was shared with Soch Fact Check, marked as “forwarded many times”, and it said:

بریکنگ نیوز۔۔

 ‏نگران وزیراعلی پنجاب محسن نقوی نگران وزیراعظم ہوں گے کاکڑ صاحب کی چھٹی صوبے اور وفاق میں نگران حکومتیں تبدیل کرنے کا  فیصلہ  ذرائع

    نیوز الرٹ

اسلام آباد : ملک بھر میں ایمرجنسی لگانے کی تیاریاں  ، باخبر ذرائع

💥🚨بریکنگ نیوز ۔۔۔

چیف الیکشن کمشنر نے اپنی پوری کابینہ سمیت  استعفی دے دیا ۔۔

ذرائع

[Translation: Breaking news… Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi will become caretaker prime minister, Kakar has been sent home. It has been decided to change the federal and provincial caretaker governments. New Alert. Islamabad: The entire country prepares for a political emergency. Informed sources. Breaking News: Chief Election Commissioner and the cabinet have resigned. Sources]

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check is not investigating if the federal and provincial governments will change or not; this article is fact-checking the claim that the Chief Election Commissioner has resigned.

A search through mainstream news platforms for recent news coverage on a resignation from the Chief Commissioner lead to four news articles from Dawn, SAMAA, The News and Dunya News from 7 January 2024, all of which report a resignation from the ECP secretary Omar Hamid, on account of his ill health, and not the Chief Commissioner

SAMAA claimed that according to unconfirmed sources, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja had a meeting with the secretary and excused him from working till he is better and that “Hamid offered to step down to ensure no disruption, but the CEC reportedly advised him to prioritise his health and seek the best treatment until recovery.” The News claimed that although the secretary submitted a resignation, it was not accepted by Raja.

The caretaker information minister posted a tweet on the same date sharing the official ECP press release with the caption:

 “افواہوں پر دھیان نہ دیں۔ سکریٹری الیکشن کمیشن واقعی علیل ہیں۔ اللہ سے ان کی مکمل اور جلد صحتیابی کی دعا کرتے ہیں۔

الیکشن کمیشن مکمل طور پر فعال ہے اور کسی قسم کا کوئی بحران نہیں ہے۔”

[Translation: “Don’t pay attention to rumors. The Secretary Election Commission is really ill. We pray to Allah for his complete and speedy recovery. Election Commission is fully functional and there is no crisis of any kind.”]

 

According to the following translated press release, “The Secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan is an intelligent and hard-working officer and he is doing great work with the commission, however, since the last few days his health has been deteriorating and he has been on medical rest before as well. Now as soon as his health allows, he will resume his duties.

The election commission is fully functional and there are no obstacles in its way. So much so that the offices are running even during the holidays. In the absence of the secretary, both special secretaries will continue to trustfully run the system.”

Soch Fact Check also spoke to the federal spokesperson for the Election Commission of Pakistan, Nadeem Haider, who told us that  the additional secretary, Asif Hussain is filling in for Hamid while the secretary recuperates. Haider insisted that nobody from the commission has resigned, any and all news coverage on social media regarding resignations is false, adding that the team is working round the clock.

Virality

On WhatsApp, the claim was “Forwarded many times.”

On Facebook we found the claim regarding the chief election commissioner’s resignation here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The same  claim from WhatsApp was also shared on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: The Chief Election Commissioner has not resigned. 

Background image in cover photo: Al Jazeera

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com 

 

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