Swaziland: King in 'Almost Absolute Control'

Photo: UN Photo/Marco Castro
King Mswati III of Swaziland.

The on-going political crisis in Swaziland shows 'the king continues to enjoy almost absolute control over the country,' Freedom House has said.

The House of Assembly passed a vote of no-confidence in the government and according to the Swazi Constitution King Mswati III should have sacked the government, but he did not. Instead, pressure was put on members of the House and after 12 days of uncertainty they reversed the decision in a controversial vote.

Freedom House in a statement said the actions of the king, who is sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch, and the government he appointed, 'demonstrate a lack of consideration for the rule of law and the authority and independence of Swaziland's governing institutions, including the House of Assembly, as written in the Constitution'.

It added, 'This repeal, and the blatant disregard by the king for country's constitution, epitomizes the increasing deterioration for the rule of law and respect for democratic governance in the country.'

Freedom House said civil society throughout Swaziland has condemned the vote, accusing King Mswati III of ignoring his constitutional responsibilities and unlawfully supporting his political ally, the prime minister.

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InFocus

Swazi King in 'Almost Absolute Control'

King Mswati III of Swaziland.

The political crisis in the country continues after a vote of no-confidence in the Swazi Government was passed and then reversed 12 days later, with accusations that some members ... Read more »