Authority Bans Media Outlets from Broadcasting PM Abiy’s Interview

Addis Ababa June 17/2021 (ENA) The Ethiopian Media Authority has urged media outlets in Ethiopia to refrain from broadcasting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s interview conducted with Fana Broadcasting Corporation during this electoral silence or campaign silence designated by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE).

According to schedules of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) June 16 was the last day of campaigning by political parties and independent candidates for the election that will take place on June 21, 2021.

The schedule of NEBE bans all parties and candidates from campaigning during the last four days before the voting day.

In the meantime the local media outlets are making announcements that interview with PM Abiy on the activities of the government would be broadcast tomorrow.

In an exclusive interview conducted with ENA today, Director-General of the Ethiopian Media Authority Mohammed Edris said despite the content of the interview that covers the performances of the government, not the ongoing election, it should not be aired during this electoral silence time in order to avoid any misunderstanding and confusion.  

"The interview conducted with the prime minister is all about the activities of the government,  national and international issues. This has nothing to do with the election,” he explained.

However, the authority decided to stop the airing of the interview in order to create a favorable situation for the conduct of the election, the director-general noted.  

Thus, he urged all media outlets that are advertising to broadcast the interview to immediately stop their ads.  

“Some groups have been expressing concern that broadcasting such interviews might impact the election process. However, the government has been showing utmost respect and commitment to making the election free, fair, and democratic. And this ban has nothing to do with the interview and the election but to avoid confusion about the election process. Media outlets advertising to air the interview are therefore urged to stop the advertisement and refrain from airing it,” he warned.  

Similarly, the Director-General called on individuals to stop dissimilating messages using the social media that appear to be election campaigns.   

Ethiopian News Agency