King Mswati’s propaganda machine is still trying to convince the world that the elections taking place in Swaziland, that started this week, are not a shambles.
The Swazi Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by the king, is reporting that the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), whose members were chosen by the king, will have no problems conducting the primary elections that take place on Saturday (24 August 2013).
This is after thousands of people were unable to vote on Thursday (22 August 2013) because voting officials turned up late and ballot papers were not available.
The EBC had decided that its own workers and members of state security forces should vote early because they would be on duty on the day everyone else was expected to vote.
Up to 7,000 people were affected by the shambles and the EBC was forced to close polling venues and ask people to return the next day.
The newspaper described the election process as ‘well planned’.
Now, the Observer has reported categorically that, ‘All material needed to run the primary elections have been delivered to the (EBC) and no delays and disturbances, like those experienced [on Thursday], are expected [on Saturday].
It quoted an EBC source saying, ‘All my polling stations have now been supplied with their ballot papers and we expect to begin as early as 7am, helping voters to cast their votes.’
It also quoted EBC’s Programme Director Richard Phungwayo saying, ‘the delays experienced would not be repeated. He said the nation must be prepared to vote smoothly and without delays.’
It remains to be seen what happens at polling stations on Saturday, but at least the Swazi people will be able to judge the EBC’s performance against the clear promises it has made to them.
KING’S PAPER IN PROPAGANDA OVERDRIVE
ELECTION GRINDS TO A HALT
ELECTION NOMINATIONS CREDIBILITY DAMAGED