Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Pro-democracy groups from several southern African nations on Sunday (21 February 2010) gathered in South Africa to launch a campaign for democracy in Swaziland, which is considered one the few remaining absolute monarchies in the world, Voice of America reports.

Activists from trade and student unions, civic groups and Swazi opposition parties launched the Swaziland Democracy Campaign.

The deputy-president of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Sikhumbuzo Phakathi, said the campaign was launched in South Africa because in Swaziland all political activity is banned.

‘That makes it a criminal offense to belong to a political party,’ said Phakathi. ‘It makes it recently a terrorist act to belong to my organization, PUDEMO, which the government decided was a terrorist organization.’

Organizers said the campaign is seeking the removal of restrictions on political parties, the news media and political gatherings. It is also calling for free, multi-party elections.

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