3 October 2008
KING SPEAKS OUT ON 'VOTE BUYING'
By Musa Ndlangamandla
HIS Majesty King Mswati III says the law should take its course on people found to have bribed their way into parliament.
He was reacting to questions from the media regarding widespread reports that many candidates used underhand means including 'buying votes' to secure a place in the legislature.
Though the elections were declared to be free and fair by international observers, there has been widespread condemnation of the practice of bribery and 'greasing voters' with cash in some polling stations.
"If people are found to be engaged in such activities the law should take its course. The Elections and Boundaries Commission and law enforcement agencies are well placed to take care of such matters," the King said.
He added that the UN, Commonwealth and other organisations expressed words of gratitute to the Swazi nation for a successful election that saw record numbers participate.
"They told us to keep up the good work and to encourage those responsible for the election process to always ensure that it goes according to the countries laws. They praised the country for the impressive voter turnout as people exercised their right to vote for a government of their choice," His Majesty said. His Majesty called on the new legislators always to workhard to deliver to the communities they represent and the country at large. He said he was confident that the new parliament will assist with strategies that will further improve the country's socio-economic climate for the betterment of the living standards of all the people.