16 June 2008
'Boycotting elections can be suicidal'
By Njabulo Dlamini
AS the call to boycott elections intensified at the Royal Swazi Sun Convention Centre auditorium, progressive formations were asked to advance an alternative.
This came in light of the fact that over the years, new governments have come and gone - despite the calls to boycott the elections.
Thuli Makama asked the question.
The parties were unanimous that they could not 'legitimise the illegitimate' - except Africa United Democratic Party (AUDP), which is against the boycott.
The AUDP insisted registering and voting in the elections would ensure a unified government is created that would be in a position to make and amend laws, even the constitution where necessary.
AUDP's Sibusiso Dlamini even termed a boycott as 'suicidal'- a route they were not prepared to undertake since they would be denying themselves a basic right of influencing and changing policies and laws.
But he was booed for his comments.
The NNLC, PUDEMO and Inhlava all described participating in the elections as committing fraud - saying it would only serve to prolong the Tinkhundla system.
"People live in poverty and we need to provide leadership and guidance," said Thami Hlatshwayo of the NNLC.
Siphasha Dlamini, PUDEMO Secretary General, said participating would be tantamount to betraying 'our own conscience' and 'legitimising the illegitimate'.
"Change will finally be realised no matter how long it might take. We only need a round table where Swazis could decide their future, especially the poor and marginalised".