Swazier revser landets udemokratiske regering

Swaziland’s enevældige konge, og hans håndplukkede regering, har længe hævdet at indbyggerne i det lille afrikanske kongedømme er glade for landets udemokratiske system og styreform, og at regeringen forsøger at forbedre forholdene for landets mange fattige. Demokratibevægelsen og civilsamfundet, derimod, har altid hævdet det modsatte.

Men nu har meningsmålinger, foretaget af det uafhængige researchinstitut Afrobarometer, vist at borgerne i Swaziland er endog meget utilfredse med landets styreform, samt kongens og regeringens korrupte varetagelse af denne. Read more of this post

Police break up Mandela memorial in absolute monarchy

Leaders and dignitaries from all over the world took part in a memorial for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday in Johannesburg. And all over the world, local memorial services are being held to enable ordinary people to mourn the passing of, and celebrate the life of, Mandela.

All over the world, but not in South Africa’s neighbouring country, the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland, where police today broke up a memorial prayer service at the Lutheran Church in Manzini organised by the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF), “by brute force.” Read more of this post

New film shows dark side of Swaziland, but also light at the end of the tunnel

The newly released film “The King and the People”, directed by Zimmedia owner Simon Bright, gives an historic insight into the tiny absolute kingdom of Swaziland, and it shows the brutal nature of the regime that runs the country, as well as the pervasive corruption, lack of media and other freedoms, poverty and inequality.

But the film also shows the growing hope of a more democratic and equal society that is epitomized by the country’s democratic movement, unions and civil society. Read more of this post

Swazi elections ”not credible”, says Commonwealth

“Parliamentarians continue to have severely limited powers, and political parties continue to remain proscribed … there is considerable room for improving the democratic system, in light of Swaziland’s international obligations. We therefore cannot conclude that the entire process was credible,” the Commonwealth Observer Mission, chaired by former Malawian President Bakili Muluzi, stated in a report on Swaziland’s recently held elections on Sunday.

The political system in Swaziland, although including periodic elections, cannot be said to be democratic in any meaningful sense of the word. Swaziland’s absolute monarch, King Mswati III, himself appoints the government, most of the senate, and several members of the parliament, the rest of which he has to approve, and he can veto any law he doesn’t like. Read more of this post

Voters in Swaziland boycott elections for powerless parliament

Very few Swazis appear to have voted in Friday’s elections in Swaziland; elections that were criticised by observers from the African Union and the Commonwealth for e.g. the power of chiefs in candidate nomination and for not allowing political parties to participate. Swazis have thus apparently heeded a campaign to boycott elections.

“Swaziland’s Elections and Boundaries Commission has not yet come out with the secondary election turnout, but through our powerful team of organisers on the ground we have given the office all regional figures, that indicate that 80,000 [out of a potential of approximately 600,000 eligible voters] actually voted,” the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) said in a statement. Read more of this post

Skinvalg i Swaziland

Valgene i Swaziland i morgen, fredag, er skinvalg. I første valgrunde må kandidaterne end ikke diskutere politik med vælgerne. Den enevældige kong Mswati III udpeger regeringen, det meste af senatet, og dele af parlamentet, hvis medlemmer han skal godkende.  Og kongen kan nedlægge veto imod alle love han ikke bryder sig om. Da de enkelte folketingsmedlemmer således ingen reel magt har, handler valgene for mange af dem derfor i stigende grad om personlig berigelse, og ikke politik.

Afrika Kontakt og Enhedslisten – som har et partnerskab med Swazilands største parti PUDEMO i DIPD-regi – betragter derfor valgene i Swaziland som udemokratiske og som et spil for galleriet Read more of this post

Swazi civil society warns diplomats of government clamp down

During meetings with diplomats from the embassies of several Western countries, held in Pretoria last week, representatives from Swaziland’s civil society warned that Swaziland’s government was actively trying to obstruct their work and shut them down.

Representatives from Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF), Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice, Swaziland National Union of Students, Swaziland Ex-Mineworkers Association and Rural Women’s Assembly told diplomats from Denmark, England, Sweden, Japan, Russia, Norway, South Africa, the USA, SADC and the EU that they are deeply worried that the Swazi authorities are trying to make a case against FSEJ for supporting terrorism. Read more of this post

Prayer for ”people’s government” in Swaziland

No to phoney elections 2013On February 16, The Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) and the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) are to hold a national prayer “for a people’s government.” The prayer is to be held at Bosco Skills Centre in Manzini at 9 am.

The prayer coincides with the recent launch SUDF’s and SDC’s campaign for a people’s government and the call of for a boycott of the undemocratic elections in Swaziland later in the year.

Using the medium of a national prayer is also a call to action along religious lines. Read more of this post

SUDF to mobilise against undemocratic Swazi elections

In a New Year’s statement issued by Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) Coordinator, Wandile Dludlu, the SUDF says it will mobilise the population against Swaziland’s non-party elections that the organisation calls a “fallacy of royal supremacy.”

“We want [the Swazi political system of] Tinkhundla to record the lowest turn-out in history as we witnessed in the recently held local elections … to prove … that the current Swazi system of governance is illegitimate, unpopular and a mockery to democracy,” the statement said. Read more of this post

Democratic movement must unite and involve rank and file to depose Swaziland’s absolute monarch

“A group of uncoordinated lions will fail to catch a limping buffalo,” says a member of the democratic movement in Roskilde University scholar Bo Karlsen’s newly published analysis of the democratic movement in Swaziland, Struggling to Achieve Mass Mobilisation and Unity.

Bo Karlsen collected empirical data during a five week field study in Swaziland, sponsored by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Here he interviewed leaders from all of the main organisations in the democratic movement in Swaziland – a country that absolute monarch Mswati III has more or less bankrupted and whose population has been devastated due to “poor policy choices” and “heavy exploitation.”

From these interviews, Karlsen concludes that unity and mass mobilisation in the democratic movement in Swaziland are the main goals, Read more of this post

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