Communists in Swaziland have called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to consider 'all options', including military intervention, to bring down King Mswati III's autocratic monarchy.
The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) said SADC 'intervened militarily in Lesotho in 1998 to restore democracy and prevent a coup' and should consider doing the same in Swaziland.
In its New Year message, the CPS said, 'They should be doing their utmost to bring down the regime and support a transition to democracy.
This is not the time for mealy-mouthed and meaningless protestations about "stability". SADC intervened militarily in Lesotho in 1998 to restore democracy and prevent a coup. It should consider "all options" when it comes to the Mswati regime, whose brutal ruination of our people and country is worse than the oppression from which Lesotho emerged.'
Swaziland is the only non-democratic nation in the SADC group. King Mswati rules under a Royal Decree made by his father King Sobhuza II in 1973 and never rescinded. In September 2013, the kingdom held national elections, but political parties were banned from taking part.
Only 55 of the 65-member House of Assembly were elected by the people: the other 10 were appointed by King Mswati. None of the 30-strong Swaziland Senate was elected by the people. King Mswati chooses the Prime Minister and members of the government and other senior political posts.
The full results of the September 2013 election have yet to be released to the public.
CPS in its statement said, 'The absolute monarchy remains in a state of permanent desperation to secure ready cash to keep itself in place. As the last 12 months have shown, Mswati's regime is clinging to power by very precarious means.
'It attempted to hoodwink the outside world that it is in reality a "monarchic democracy" by holding bogus elections to renew Mswati's support base, while ensuring that no political parties or party platforms were wholly excluded from the process.'
CPS added, 'The regime has no legitimacy at home and precious little abroad. There is no thriving economy in the country to sustain the monarchy and its quasi-feudal ruling class for much longer.
'Despite this, the CPS and other pro-democracy forces were appalled to find SADC and the Commonwealth giving their blessing to Mswati's election scandal.
The SADC countries have anyway continued to sit and do nothing about the disgrace of the Mswati regime. They and others timidly push for meagre "reforms" to make the regime seem less odious.
'They should be doing their utmost to bring down the regime and support a transition to democracy.'
CPS called for the unbanning of all political parties and organisations as a 'crucial first step towards creating a new democratic dispensation and dismantling the monarchic autocracy'.
It also called for pressure to be put on King Mswati's financial resources.