News / Africa

Swaziland Vote Will Be Credible, Says Elections Chief

King of Swaziland Mswati III (Front) and one of his 13 wives disembark from a plane after arriving at Katunayake International airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 13, 2012. (Reuters)
King of Swaziland Mswati III (Front) and one of his 13 wives disembark from a plane after arriving at Katunayake International airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 13, 2012. (Reuters)
Peter Clottey
The chairman of Swaziland’s Elections and Boundaries Commission says he is confident that this year’s national elections would be transparent and credible.

“I am confident it would be very credible like the one we had before, and judging by the interest of the people, I am 100 percent confident that it is going to be a credible election,” said Prince Gija.

He said the electoral commission will begin sending invitation letters from Monday to international poll observer groups to monitor the elections.

“We are expecting probably the head of state to be signing [the document], which will actually declare the date of the election, giving us dates like the nomination dates and the election dates,” Gija said. “So, by then we would be able next week to invite all organizations and countries who are interested [to monitor the vote].”

He says preparations are underway to register prospective voters before the end of June.

“We hope to finish registration by the 23rd of June and we are getting ready for the elections, which would be somewhere around September,” Gija said. “From the statisticians, they gave us a population of 600,000 Swazis who are eligible to vote and we are targeting that number.”

Gija says funds allocated by the government to enable his group administer the election might not be sufficient. He says his group might need the equivalent of about $12 million to administer the vote.

“The government did afford us Emalangeni 100 million [about $10 million] at the moment, even though we know that we’ve shown signs of overshooting that budget because we want to make the elections as competitive as possible to other elections, and as transparent,” said Gija.

His comments came after pro-democracy groups called for citizens to boycott the vote saying, the elections are part of the government’s plan to prevent the people from demanding full multiparty democracy in the southern African kingdom.

Critics also say King Mswati III and his administration have so far refused to adhere to both the United Nations and the African Union’s declaration of fundamental rights in elections, which allows citizens to freely elect their leaders.

Electoral chief Gija says his group has implemented measures to ensure the elections are peaceful.

“We work along with the police force [members] who are merely providing security and providing assistance to make sure everything goes smoothly,” said Gija.
Clottey interview with Prince Gija, Swaziland's electoral chief
Clottey interview with Prince Gija, Swaziland's electoral chiefi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid