Monday, August 4, 2008


Swazi Observer

1 August 2008

No booze at polling stations

NO alcohol will be allowed at polling stations.

The Elections Order of 1992 states expressly that alcohol must not be sold within a kilometre of a polling station. Reads section 71(4) "During the hours when a polling station is open on polling day, no person shall sell, supply or consume intoxicating liquor within a kilometre of the polling station."


This provision means that vendors who normally see such busy events as a perfect opportunity for making quick bucks will be disappointed that there shall be no business for them during election time, which begins tomorrow. Section 68 (1) states that a person who hires or uses premises where intoxicating substances are sold as a committee room for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of a candidate at an election or in connection with arrangements made by any person in reference to an election shall be guilty of an offence. Section 71 of the said Act lists a number of corrupt practices and other offences during election time.


Subsection 2 says on polling day no person shall carry or use speaking apparatus on any motor car, truck or other vehicle or in any other manner. However, this subsection does not apply to police or to such persons as the returning officer may authorise to use speaking apparatus for the orderly conduct of the election on polling day. Subsection 5 stipulates that no person shall, connection with an election on nomination day or polling day, use or display any flag except those legally in use. The above listed offences are punishable by a fine of E500 or imprisonment of three months.

Section 70 requires employers to allow their employees a reasonable period for voting on polling day and no employer is allowed to make a deduction from the pay of that employee. Nomination for aspiring legislators is on tomorrow. In conducting this year's elections, the Elections and Boundaries Commission is using two pieces of legislation, the Election Order of 1992 and the National Constitution.


No comments: