“We will not partake in these undemocratic elections in Swaziland unless political parties are unbanned. We seek to intensify our boycott,” Swaziland Nationals Union of Students (SNUS) President Maxwell Dlamini told Africa Contact today.
Maxwell Dlamini, who has himself been tortured and harassed by Swazi security forces and has currently been on trial for over a year in a case that has brought no credible evidence against him, also said that SNUS were mobilizing against this year’s elections in Swaziland, both at home and abroad.
“We as the youth of Swaziland commit ourselves fully to mobilise all young people and the generally oppressed people of Swaziland not to partake in these elections. We also call on the international community to shun the [Swazi] Tinkundla elections and call for King Mswati III to unban political parties and respect fundamental human rights.”
Swaziland is effectively an absolute monarchy where the constitution allows the King to appoint and fire government ministers and members of parliament at will. American research and advocacy NGO Freedom House rates Swaziland as “Not Free”, stating in its 2012 report that “Swaziland is not an electoral democracy.” Human Rights Watch states in its 2012 World Report that “Under Swazi law and custom, all powers are vested in the king.”
By Peter Kenworthy, Africa Contact
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