5 July 2018

Swaziland: Tax Debtors Barred From Election

People who owe taxes will not be allowed to stand for parliament in the forthcoming national elections in Swaziland/Eswatini.

An Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) spokesperson said prospective candidates would be vetted after nominations had closed and if they owed taxes they would be disqualified.

The Swazi Observer reported on Thursday (5 July 2018) Mbonisi Bhambe of the EBC said while they did not necessarily look into the debts of an individual they considered taxes when vetting candidates.

It quoted Bhambe saying, 'People that are elected should be responsible citizens, therefore, their taxes must be in order and up to date.'

It was reported in June that police would vet all nominated candidates ahead of the election in Swaziland where King Mswati III rules as sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch. Political parties are banned from taking part in the election.

Nominations are due to take place on 28 and 29 July 2018 ahead of a final election on 21 September 2018.

Elections in Swaziland are widely recognised outside of the kingdom as undemocratic. Parliament has no powers as these are vested in the King. After the election, the King will chose the Prime Minister, government ministers and the top civil servants and judges. At past elections people only got to select 55 of 65 members of the House of Assembly. The King chose the other 10. At the forthcoming election there will be an additional four seats for people to vote for. It has not been announced how many members the King will choose but the Swaziland Constitution allows him to pick up to ten.

No members of the 30-member Senate are elected by the people.

Swaziland

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