News / Africa

    Swaziland Electoral Group Rejects ‘Sham Vote’ Criticism

    Mswati III, King of Swaziland (L) tours the exhibition hall during the first day of the World Energy Forum at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Oct. 22, 2012.
    Mswati III, King of Swaziland (L) tours the exhibition hall during the first day of the World Energy Forum at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Oct. 22, 2012.
    Peter Clottey
    The spokesman for Swaziland’s Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has rejected criticisms that the final round of elections scheduled for Friday is a sham.

    The electoral group organized a nomination process on August 3-4, following the voter registration process. Then on August 24, the primary election took place in the kingdom.

    Electoral Commission spokesman Sabelo Dlamini says enthusiasm showed by prospective voters ahead of the final balloting is a demonstration of their support in the organizational ability of the electoral body to administer a credible election.

    “The truth of the matter is we are having a massive participation from the Swazi public. From the number of people who have registered for the election, it is the biggest number that has been recorded in Swaziland in terms of elections,” said Dlamini. “During the primary election, we had cues from 5 am and some polling stations had to close at 12 midnight because there were lots of people that had flocked in to vote.”

    Dlamini’s comments came after pro-democracy groups said the ban on the participation of political parties in the election undermines the integrity of the vote. They also called on international poll observers to be vigilant and to not quickly endorse the vote as free and fair.

    Swaziland’s constitution prohibits political parties from taking part or campaigning ahead of elections. Pro-democracy groups, including People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), say elections in Swaziland are a mockery of democracy. Dlamini disagreed.

    “Political parties are not supposed to participate in an election as a political party because participation in a Swazi election is by individual merit,” said Dlamini. “But, every Swazi is allowed to participate in the elections. Whether you belong to a party or not, you are allowed to participate to vote or be voted for in the elections. There are a number of members of political parties who were nominated and they are participating in the election.”

    The electoral group, unlike in many other countries, does not register political parties in Swaziland. Dlamini outlined the criteria that qualify a Swazi to contest in an election.

    “You are nominated in your community as an individual to represent that community in parliament. So the electoral and boundaries commission only registers voters individually, not registering them in terms of affiliation to any political party or any other denomination, for that matter,” said Dlamini. 

    Some critics have said the EBC only registered about 70 percent of eligible voters this year, compared to 88 percent of registered voters during the last election in 2008.

    Dlamini disagreed, saying that more than 70 percent of Swazis who are eligible to stand for election or to vote in the election have registered to vote.

    “That should tell you that Swazis are supporting this process,” Dlamini said.
    Clottey interview with Sabelo Dlamini, Swaziland EBC spokesman
    Clottey interview with Sabelo Dlamini, Swaziland EBC spokesman i
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora