ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Media Authority told media outlets in Ethiopia to refrain from broadcasting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s interview conducted with Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).
The Authority’s decision came after the FBC aired a promotion saying it would run an interview with the PM Friday night, which, oppositions say, goes against the election rules and procedures.
The national Electoral Board of Ethiopia has already designated the four-day period prior the voting day on Monday as a silence period, banning any kind of political campaigning.
This prohibits media houses from running election-centered stories or conducting interviews with candidates, according to the board message posted on its official twitter page on Wednesday.
The PM, whose interview was scheduled to be televised on Friday night, is running for parliamentary seat in Agaro Town of Jimma zone.
Director-General of the Ethiopian Media Authority Mohammed Edris said the interview should not be aired during the scheduled time in order to avoid any misunderstanding and confusion.
“Some groups have been expressing concern that broadcasting such interviews might impact the election process,” Mohammed told state-run Ethiopian News Agency.
“However, the government has been showing utmost respect and commitment to making the election free, fair, and democratic,” he said.
The director general said the 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 disseminating messages using the social media that appear to be election campaigns.
Featured Image: Director-General of the Ethiopian Media Authority Mohammed Edris