Friday, October 25, 2013


Commonwealth observers have called for Swaziland’s Constitution to be rewritten after they concluded the kingdom’s national election in September 2013 was not entirely credible.

The call came in the official report of the Commonwealth Observer Mission just circulated.

The report says members of parliament ‘continue to have severely limited powers’ and political parties are banned.

The Commonwealth observers said there was ‘considerable room for improving the democratic system’.
Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.

They called for King Mswati’s powers to be reduced. ‘The presence of the monarch in everyday political life inevitably associates the institution of monarchy with politics, a situation that runs counter to the development that the re-establishment of the Parliament and the devolution of executive authority into the hands of elected officials.’

The report said the Constitution needed to be revisited with an open debate on what changes were necessary.

It added, ‘This should ideally be carried out through a fully inclusive, consultative process with al Swazi political organisations and civil society (if needed, with the help of constitutional experts.’

It said, ‘The aim is to ensure that Swaziland’s commitment to political pluralism is unequivocal.’ 

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