King Mswati III of Swaziland has admitted publicly that the 'Monarchical Democracy' he introduced to his subjects after receiving a vision from God is nothing more than a name change for the existing Tinkhundla system.
He described it to the Reuters news agency as, 'No change really. It's just a name so people can understand.'
The admission will embarrass many of his followers as they claimed it showed that King Mswati, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch, had invented a new kind of democracy.
It was, Reuters reported, 'merely a name change for foreign consumption'.
The news agency reported the king saying, 'The world really doesn't understand the Tinkhundla system, but everybody can understand monarchical democracy. It's an English name. This monarchical democracy is a marriage between the traditional monarchy and the ballot box, all working together under the monarchy.'
Swaziland is holding it national election on Friday (20 September 2013). All political parties are banned from taking part. The poll will select 55 members of the House of assembly, the other 10 members are appointed by the king.
No members of the 30-strong Senate House are elected by the people: the king appoints 20 senators and the others are elected by the House of Assembly.