Thursday, September 25, 2008


Swazi Observer

24 September 2008

Judge talks of political parties, elections

HIGH Court Judge Mbutfo Mamba said to suggest that political parties/unions have no locus standi (legal authority) to stop the national elections because they are not registered as voters is erroneous.

The judge said it puts the cart before the horse, simply because the parties/unions wanted to halt the process and obtain a declarator order that they may participate in the elections.

Justice Mamba said the declaration would open the way for them to register.

"To hold at this stage of the proceedings that they have no locus standi because they are not registered voters would be to hold that they have no right to vote in forthcoming national parliamentary elections," he said.

"And after the elections if they are successful in the main action, they would only be able to exercise their rights in the next national elections after five years.

"This cannot, in my respectful view be just. It would be tantamount to the irreparable harm required to satisfy an order for an interdict.

"The applicants' exclusion from the electoral process perceived or otherwise, is in my respectful view, their direct interest in the matter and this is peculiar to them. Indeed one may ask, if political parties have no locus standi to challenge their exclusion from participating in the parliamentary elections, who has such locus standi?"

During submissions, Attorney General Majahenkhaba Dlamini argued that political parties had no legal authority to stop the elections because they were not registered as voters.


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