Commonwealth News and Information Service (London)
29 October 2008
Posted to the web 30 October 2008
Swaziland: Commonwealth Expert Team Issues Final Report On 2008 Elections
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma today released the Final Report of the Commonwealth Expert Team which observed the 2008 National Elections in Swaziland.
Mr Sharma said: "Despite the fact that the Team found that the elections on polling day were reasonably well conducted, they raised concerns about the totality of the electoral process. The Team felt that the reasons for this lay in weaknesses in the current constitutional, legal and electoral framework. These required reforms through a process of consultation and dialogue.
"What is vital now is for the Government and all political and civil society organizations in Swaziland to work together to chart a mutually agreed path for the future development of the country, with a view to ensuring its sustainable growth and stability, in line with Commonwealth fundamental values. The Commonwealth stands ready to assist in that process", the Secretary-General added.
The Report was completed and signed by all members of the Commonwealth Expert Team, prior to their departure from Swaziland. It was presented to the Commonwealth Secretary-General by the Team leader, Dr Paul Ssemogerere, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda. Before being made public, it was distributed to the Government of Swaziland, to Swazi political and civil society organisations, to the Elections and Boundaries Commission of Swaziland, and to all other Commonwealth governments.