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‘Somalia Debates’ says presidential debate will go on despite Ministry of Information ban

Friday May 6, 2022

Mogadishu (HOL) - Somali Ministry of Information has suspended a presidential debate organized by a group called ‘Somalia Debates,’ citing that the organization has no legal authority to hold the event.

Somalia Debates said that it is a registered Non-Governmental Organisation to organize civil society dialogue and debates across Somalia under the registration (number NGOD/Moifar0065/22) at the Ministry of Interior Federal Affairs and Reconciliation.

They added that Somalia Debates is not a media entity governed under the rules and regulations of the Federal Ministry of Information.

The Ministry of Information authorized security agencies to suspend the presidential debates organized by the group.

“Does every debate group need to be registered with the Ministry of Information? This is the misunderstanding from the Ministry.”

“Somalia Debates aims to make politics more accessible through debates, which is of common interest for Somalia and beyond. This is in the national interest, and we are legally mandated to do that. We will continue as planned,” said in the statement.

Somalia Debates said that there are competing interests of influence who do not want presidential debates to happen in Somalia for personal, political, and professional interests. He added that nobody should be allowed to derail Somalia’s path to democracy.

The organization said that their plans for presidential debates in Somalia have  broad support.

“We have the support of the Somali public, the Somali Prime Minister, members of the international community, FEIT, and the presidential candidates, who have all principally welcomed our initiative with open arms.”


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