16 September 2008
SWAZILAND SOLIDARITY NETWORK – [SSN] STATEMENT ON THE SHAM ELECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR THIS FRIDAY IN SWAZILAND.
The SSN is dismayed by the arrogant tinkundla regime for pushing ahead with selective elections on Friday 19th September 2008. This is a huge setback to the democratic process in the Southern African Development Region.
Swaziland is a dictatorship and has no grounds to stage a unilateral election process. This is a one sided sham elections used as a decoy to hide its dictatorial regime of King Mswati III. King Mswati III like his father King Sobhuza II is an absolute monarch who controls the executive, judicial and legislative powers and the police and the army in Swaziland swear loyalty to him and the royal house.
In just five years after colonial freedom from Britain in 1968 the then King Sobhuza II denounce the advent of democracy in Swaziland as un-Swazi and reversed the gains of democratic dispensation through a royal decree. The 12 April 1973 royal decree declared a permanent state of emergency that banned all political parties, political activism, all tenets of basic freedoms including freedom of assembly, expression, press etc.
Up to this date the state is still in existence and any prospect for a democratic election does not exist. The King allow contestants in the election chosen through the traditional tinkundla system for which the primary loyalty is to the King and the royal house with no basic forms of democratic system at play. The Swazi King has vast undemocratic powers vested on him by the abrogated powers he has through the state of emergency. These powers even supercede that of the judiciary and thus making the King and the royal house above the law.
The democratic movement in Swaziland has always called for a broader forum to discuss the way forward for the country to the deaf ears of his majesty the King who has relentlessly refused to engage in any talks that may curtail his powers. The democratic forces have intensified their fight and organisation and recently established the Swaziland United Democratic Front to push ahead with democratic changes.
The SSN is fully behind these measures and any activities embarked upon by the democratic movement to free themselves from the royal dictatorship.
We call upon all peace loving and democrats in South Africa and the world over to condemn this one sided elections and isolate the Swazi regime from all the international forums. We call on the people to join the picket outside the Swaziland embassy in Pretoria on the 19th September 2008 to raise our objection to this shameful 'electoral' process.
By no means is Swaziland a democracy until there is a free political activity and basic democratic norms and values are observed. No peace with injustice! Phambili Emzabalazo!
Issued by the SSN 16 September 2008
For more information contact:
Lucky Lukhele- SSN Spokesperson
Mobile:072 502 4141
Tell: 011 339 3621