Swaziland’s national election has been further undermined with the revelation that some names of nominated individuals have been left off the official list of candidates.
This follows news that some people who wanted to be nominated were denied the chance to do so by electoral officers.
Some candidates are claiming that the nomination lists were sabotaged to deliberately stop them taking part in the election.
The problem was discovered after the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) released the official list of candidates for the kingdom’s primary election. This followed nominations at chiefdoms over the weekend of 3-4 August 2013.
Some of the aggrieved candidates complained to the Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper.
It reported they were ‘outraged after they either did not appear or their names were wrongly spelt’ on the EBC list of nominations.
The Times said, ‘Some went as far as suspecting sabotage by their competitors.’
It added, ‘One of the aspiring MPs said he was the first candidate to be nominated at his umphakatsi [chiefdom] and he was outraged when his name did not appear on the list of nominees.
‘He said he was confused as candidates who were nominated after him were included on the list. Pointing to the sensitive nature of the elections, he claimed he was being sabotaged.’
The EBC said it would make corrections.
Last week it was revealed that that people who wanted to nominate candidates were prevented from doing so because electoral officers would not allow it.
And, separately it has been reported that some public servants were nominated against the election rules because they did not have permission letters from their employers.
Some people boycotted the election nomination completely in protest that venues selected for the nominations were unsuitable. Elsewhere equipment failures delayed the start of nomination.
The nominations are the first stage of the controversial election for members of the House of Assembly. Political parties are barred from taking part in the election and the parliament that is elected has no power as this rests with King Mswati III, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
The election is only to select 55 members of the 65-seat House of Assembly. The other 10 members are appointed by the king. No members of the Senate House are elected by the people. Of its 30 members, 20 are chosen by the king and 10 are elected by members of the House of Assembly.
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