More than half of the new Cabinet ministers in the Swaziland Government were not elected by the people.
Out of 19 ministers King Mswati III personally appointed 11 to the House of Assembly or to the Senate.
King Mswati rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. At national elections held in September the people were only permitted to elect 55 members of the 65-seat House of Assembly. The King chose the other 10. Political parties were banned from taking part in the election.
The King also chose 20 of the 30-strong Senate House. The other 10 were elected by members of the House of Assembly. None were elected by the people.
Prior to appointing his cabinet, King Mswati demonstrated his complete control of politics in the kingdom. All the top parliamentary office holders in Swaziland were filled by people he appointed and none were elected by the people. They were the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, the President and Deputy President of Senate.
The King appointed six of his own family to the Senate and another six family and clan members to the House of Assembly.
Following September’s election international observer missions criticised the lack of democracy in Swaziland. The Commonwealth Observer Mission in particular called for King Mswati’s political powers to be revised.
It said, ‘The presence of the monarch in the structure of everyday political life inevitably associates the institution of the monarchy with politics, a situation that runs counter to the development that the re-establishment of the Parliament and the devolution of executive authority into the hands of elected officials.’
It called for Swaziland’s Constitution to be reviewed.
NO TOP PARLIAMENTARIANS WERE ELECTED
KING APPOINTS SIX OF HIS FAMILY TO SENATE