5 May 2008
Swaziland to start voter registration for polls
MBABANE (AFP) — Swaziland will this month begin to register voters for parliamentary elections scheduled for September, the electoral commission announced on Monday.
Elections, Boundaries Committee (EBC) chairman Gija Dlamini, said the exercise would begin on May 19 and run until June 22.
The voter roll will be ready one month after the close of registration, Dlamini said.
For the first time in 40 years, Swazi's living abroad will be allowed to register and vote in the parliamentary elections.
The Swaziland opposition, backed by influential trade unions, have said they will boycott the elections until Africa's last absolute monarch introduces democratic reforms.
King Mswati III, 40, succeeded his late father in April 1986.
Authorities announced on Thursday that election observers from the United States and Commonwealth nations will be invited, for the first time, to monitor the elections in a bid to enhance transparency.