More than one in three Swazi people want political parties to be allowed in the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III as an autocratic monarch.
The figure comes even though all debate on democratising the kingdom is ruthlessly crushed by King Mswati’s state police and security forces. Meetings called to discuss democratic change are routinely disrupted by police and prodemocracy activists are jailed.
No news media in Swaziland support political parties.
In Swaziland, political parties are banned from taking part in elections. Groups that support democracy are banned under the Suppression of Terrorism Act. The King chooses the Prime Minister and Government. No members of the Swazi Senate House are elected by the people.
The people are allowed to elect 55 members of the 65-strong House of Assembly but the other 10 are chosen by the King.
Afrobarometer reported on Thursday (29 October 2015) that in Swaziland 36 percent of people questioned agreed with the statement, ‘The Swazi Constitution should be amended to allow for the existence of political parties in our country.’
A total of 58 percent agreed with the statement, ‘The constitutional ban on political parties has served our country well and should therefore be maintained.’