Complaints about malpractice at Swaziland’s primary election are flocking into the offices of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC).
EBC Spokesperson Sabelo Dlamini confirmed to local media that there were a number of complaints that the commission was receiving.
He told the Swazi Observer newspaper that from the day after nominations, a number of people had been flocking to their offices to lodge complaints, which the commission was addressing.
One of the latest complaints came from youths at Msunduza, East Mbabane, who delivered a petition complaining that EBC officers had closed polling station gates at 16:50pm, even though the voting process had started late.
In a separate case, the Moneni Royal Kraal wrote to the EBC to request the primary election in the chiefdom be held again because some candidates allegedly bribed textile workers to vote for them. They also clam that candidates were illegally campaigning ahead of the election on Saturday (24 August 2013).
According to the Times of Swaziland newspaper, ‘They alleged that concerns were raised with the presiding officers and to the police officers who were at the polling station on Saturday during the Primary Elections. It is alleged that they were told that there was nothing wrong.
‘“It became obvious to the residents that the presiding officer was not neutral on issues raised by the nominees. The concerns were also raised even before the start of the counting process to the presiding officer,” the letter alleged.’
The EBC has been under fire for its poor organisation of the election. Members of the EBC were appointed by King Mswati III and have been criticised for being too close to the monarchy.
The Swazi Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati, accused the EBC of committing treason in their poor handling of the election.
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