News & Current Affairs

September 18, 2008

Police hold Swazi poll protesters

Police hold Swazi poll protesters

Union and anti-government protesters hurl stones at police during a rally in Manzini, Swaziland, 3 September 2008

Pro-democracy activists held protests earlier this month

Police in Swaziland have detained a number of pro-democracy activists planning a border blockade ahead of parliamentary elections in the kingdom.

Several union leaders were bundled into police vans at the main border crossing with South Africa, organizers of the planned blockade said.

Political parties are banned in Swaziland, one of the world’s last absolute monarchies.

There have been recent protests calling for change and multi-party democracy.

A government spokesman has said the planned blockade was unnecessary.

But the secretary-general of the Swaziland Federation of Labor, Vincent Ncongwane, said protesters wanted to demonstrate that Friday’s elections would not be inclusive.

“We still have in Swaziland this myth that you can have a democracy where there isn’t the participation of other political parties,” he told.

Landlocked Swaziland is almost entirely surrounded by South Africa.

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1 Comment »

  1. We should realize that these elections in Swaziland have no validity. Political parties are banned and the parliament has no real power. King Mswati III in effect rules by decree. He picks the prime minister and cabinet ministers. The present PM was chosen by the king even though the PM had not been elected. Dissent is not allowed.

    Police fired rubber bullets and teargas recently at a march in Swaziland called to protest the lack of democracy.

    For more information on the elections and human rights in Swaziland visit my blogsite http://www.swazimedia.blogspot.com

    Comment by Swazi Media — September 18, 2008 @ 5:22 pm


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