The Somali Ministry of Information has halted a presidential discussion organized by the nonprofit ‘Somalia Debates,’ claiming that the organisation lacks legal license to hold the event.
Somalia Debates is a registered non-governmental organization (NGOD/Moifar0065/22) that organizes civil society discourse and debates in Somalia, according to the Ministry of Interior Federal Affairs and Reconciliation.
They further stated that Somalia Debates is not a media organization governed by the Federal Ministry of Information’s norms and regulations.
The Ministry of Information has given security officials permission to halt the group’s presidential debates.
“Does the Ministry of Information require that every debate organization be registered?” This is the Ministry’s misunderstanding.”
“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.”