Friday, January 25, 2013


Richard Rooney, Pambazuka News 24 January 2013 Issue 614

As Swaziland prepares for elections this year, international expectation is that the process will be a mockery of democracy in the kingdom where King Mswati has the sole say

The tiny kingdom of Swaziland in southern Africa is getting ready for a national parliamentary election this year, amid expectations that the outcome will be a fraud on democracy.

All political parties are banned in the kingdom where King Mswati III is generally considered to be the last absolute monarch in sub-Saharan Africa.

Elections are held every five years. At the last vote in 2008, the Commonwealth Election Team, which has global experience monitoring national elections, declared that the voting was so badly flawed Swaziland needed to rewrite its constitution, if it ever wanted to ’ensure that Swaziland’s commitment to political pluralism is unequivocal’.

In a report on the elections it said: ’It is widely accepted internationally that democracy includes the right of individuals to associate with and support the political party of their choice.’

It added: ‘Yet in practice this right currently does not exist.’

For full article click here.

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