Besøg fra Bhutan

Politikere fra lille sydasiatisk land talte om demokrati i Verdensmålshuset i Gladsaxe.

Bhutan er et buddhistisk land der ligger i Himalaya, klemt inde mellem Indien og Kina. Landet har en befolkning på omkring 700.000. Fjernsynet blev først tilladt i Bhutan i 1999 og landet fik demokrati i 2008.

I sidste uge var politikere fra fire af Bhutans partier og embedsmænd på besøg i Gladsaxe for at tale om netop demokrati. Read more of this post

Valgobservatører kritiserer valg i Swaziland

Valget i Swaziland i sidste uge forløb roligt, men var især skæmmet af manglende ytringsfrihed, en mangelfuld tredeling af magten, og at politiske partier er forbudt, skriver den Afrikanske Union i en pressemeddelelse.

Lederen af valgobservatørerne fra den Afrikanske Union, tidligere præsident for Seychellerne James Michel, opfordrede Swaziland til at ophæve et dekret fra 1973, der blandt andet gør det ulovligt for politiske partier at deltage i valg i landet. Read more of this post

Swazis want democracy not just elections

Swaziland will hold national elections on Friday amid waves of strikes and protests. A new survey from Afrobarometer shows that few Swazis believe that they are free to speak their mind or that Swaziland is a proper democracy.

Swaziland could be heading for its lowest turn-out ever at a national election on Friday, with only a little over 25 percent of eligible voters voting in the first round of elections in August. Read more of this post

Swaziland: Valg uden demokrati

Swaziland går til valg den 21. september. Ifølge rapporter om det seneste valg i det lille monarki, der ligger klods op af Sydafrika, er det politiske system dog udemokratisk og med til at holde landets enevældige monark ved magten.

Vælgerne i Swaziland skal vælge 59 af de 69 medlemmer af landets underhus. Kong Mswati III vælger de resterende ti, de fleste af senatsmedlemmerne, samt regeringen og premiereministeren. Politiske partier er bandlyst. Read more of this post

Swaziland: Elections without democracy

Swaziland will hold national elections on September 21. But according to reports that examine the country’s last national elections in 2013 and many Swazis, Swaziland’s political system is undemocratic and only serves to keep its absolute monarch in power.

Organised Certainty, a new study published in July by journalist and former associate professor at the University of Swaziland Richard Rooney, concludes that Swaziland’s last national elections in 2013 were “not democratic” Read more of this post

Swaziland’s failed democratisation

The reason for the lack of democracy in the tiny absolute monarchy of Swaziland is an authoritarian reinvention of tradition, and a lack of both internal and external pressure on the regime, writes Swazi activist Bheki Dlamini.

If you are looking for books on political solutions in Swaziland in your local or university library, or in bookstores or on Amazon, you won’t find much to enlighten you. Read more of this post

Swazis demand democracy at Global Week of Action

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Swaziland’s capital Mbabane on Friday to deliver a petition which calls for democracy and socioeconomic justice to the country’s Cabinet.

The march was part of the annual Global Week of Action (GWoA) which, according to the organisers, is the biggest campaign for democracy in Swaziland. It is held during the week of Swaziland’s Independence Day, the 6th of September, and includes marches, seminars and workshops. Read more of this post

Socialist Youth call for democracy in Swaziland now

The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) is calling for governments, regional bodies and multilaterals to pressurize the Swazi regime to introduce multiparty elections in the absolute monarchy of Swaziland.

“We are appealing to democratic governments, regional bodies, and multilateral institutions to raise the issue of Swaziland and hold the authoritarian regime accountable. We call for political and economic pressure on the regime … [and] a peaceful transition to democracy,” the IUSY wrote in a resolution passed at the IUSY World Council held in Rosario, Argentina last week. Read more of this post

The democratisation of Swaziland: inside or outside job?

swaziland-pudemo-2013-194The small absolute monarchy of Swaziland is best known for its tourism, “unique” culture tied to its monarchy, and the cultural and spending exploits of playboy-king Mswati III, not for its repressive regime and ongoing struggle for democracy.

Swaziland is nominally a middle income country that is seldom condemned by world leaders and rarely mentioned in the international media, even though it is one of the most unequal, poverty-stricken and unfree countries in the world, and even though King Mswati spends millions of dollars on prestige projects and personal jets while his subjects starve. Read more of this post

Do Swazis want democracy?

bheki_New Afrobarometer-report shows that Africans still cautiously embrace democracy. In the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland, support for democracy is low but rising. In many other countries it is falling.

‘Do Africans still want democracy,’ independent research network Afrobarometer asks Africans in a new report? The answer seems to be a cautious and qualified ‘yes’. In Swaziland, a small absolute monarchy where parties are banned and the king appoints the government and controls everything from the economy to the judiciary, numbers are very low but rising. Read more of this post