4 February 2013

Swaziland: Student Leader Calls for Poll Boycott

Photo: Nadia Neophytou
File photo: Swaziland Protests

Swaziland's best known student leader Maxwell Dlamini has called for a boycott of the kingdom's national election due this year, unless political parties are unbanned.

Dlamini, President of the Swaziland Nationals Union of Students (SNUS) told Africa Contact, 'We will not partake in these undemocratic elections in Swaziland unless political parties are unbanned. We seek to intensify our boycott.'

Kenworthy News Media reported, Dlamini, who has himself been tortured and harassed by Swazi security forces and has currently been on trial for over a year in a case of possessing explosives also said that SNUS were mobilizing against the Swazi elections, both at home and abroad.

He said, 'We as the youth of Swaziland commit ourselves fully to mobilise all young people and the generally oppressed people of Swaziland not to partake in these elections.

We also call on the international community to shun the [Swazi] Tinkundla elections and call for King Mswati III to unban political parties and respect fundamental human rights.'

Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch. There are two chambers in the Swazi parliament: the House of Assembly and the Senate.

Of the 65 members of the House, 10 are chosen by King Mswati and 55 are elected by the people. In the Senate, King Mswati chooses 20 of the 30 places. The other 10 are chosen by members of the House of Assembly. None are elected by the people.

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