2 August 2008
Forget nomination, Parliament
By Alec Lushaba
Registered voters who will not be at their imiphakatsi or centres today or tomorrow where they registered to vote for the September National Elections will forfeit their right to nominate or be nominated to stand for the primary elections.
The primary elections will be held in August 23 whilst the secondary elections will be held in September 19, 2008.
Elections and Boundaries Commission chairman Chief Gija has revealed that they are pressed for time, hence they could not afford to push the nomination dates any further.
When asked if their move to announce the dates so late would not deny those Swazis who registered but live outside the country an opportunity to come and nominate or be nominated, Chief Gija said it was the same for everyone.
“It is not only those who reside outside the country that are affected but even those who will be displaced by family commitments and bereavements will find themselves not participating. There is nothing we can do, we were pressed for time, the Constitution states that the new Parliament should be established after the dissolution of the other,” he said.
The Attorney General Majahenkhaba Dlamini when approached for comments on the matter said he cannot give a clear explanation for this position, saying it is a matter that lies on the commission’s judgment.
“It is, therefore, difficult to say whether their judgement was right or wrong,” he said.
Sive Siyanqaba National Movement Publicity Secretary Zibuse Simelane said Swazis and those who are their members were ready for nomination.
"However, what worries us is the timing of the whole process. Firstly, we feel the commission has failed to deliver the Voters' Roll on time. As citizens who had registered, we needed a draft votes’ roll to check whether our names appear in the appropriate centres where we registered. Now, what will happen to those registered voter's whose names either captured wrongly or completely do not appear in the roll yet they have the necessary IDs, indicating that they registered. This affects both the nominee and those who will second the nomination," Simelane said.
He said to say that the law does not call for the publication of a draft voter's roll is misguided, because the purpose of a voters’ roll is to ensure that people have registered and registered in appropriate centres.
Recently, former Finance minister now based in New York, Themba Masuku of Sandleni successfully contested the extension of the Voter Registration period.
Masuku had made it clear that he would like an opportunity to vote and be voted in the national election, ready to leave his Executive directorship position with the Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in New York.