Sangu TV opens presidential debate to all candidates after public outrage

Eight candidates contesting 2023's presidential elections.

Sangu TV has decided to include all presidential candidates in the channel’s presidential debate slated for this Saturday following public outrage.

Sangu TV initially said the debate will only include the five candidates contesting the election on behalf of political parties; a decision which was met with public outrage. Many members of the general public took to social media, to express concern regarding the matter, emphasizing the importance of equality for all candidates.

Hassan Zameel, who is contesting the election independently, in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, said he viewed the exclusion of independent candidates from Sangu TV’s presidential debate, after state broadcaster PSM’s debate was canceled, following which they have decided to partner up with Sangu TV, as an infringement of his rights. He also noted that he had lodged a complaint with the EC over the matter.

Faris Maumoon, who is also contesting the election independently, shared the post, expressing his agreement with the sentiments and thanking him for filing the complaint.

Elections Commission (EC) also called to exercise equality among all presidential candidates.

Sangu TV, subsequently, announced their decision to include all candidates in the debate. In a press statement later, PSM said all independent candidates have accepted the invitation extended to participate in the debate.

Apart from independent candidates Hassan Zameel, Faris Maumoon and former home minister Umar Naseer, the following candidates from political parties will also be in attendance for the debate;

  • President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih – Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)
  • Dr. Mohamed Muizzu – People’s National Congress (PNC)
  • Ilyas Labeeb – The Democrats
  • Qasim Ibrahim – Jumhoory Party (JP)
  • Mohamed Nazim – Maldives National Party (MNP)

The debate will take place between 9:00pm and 11:00pm on Saturday.