Officials show ballots during a vote count at the Msunduza Hall in Mbabane, on 29 September 2023. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI / AFP)
- The AU and SADC say Eswatini’s Tinkundla elections, which lack critical elements of democracy, were peaceful and well-organised.
- The AU’s final report on its observation of the election will be released in 30 days, while the SADC report will be tabled in 90 days.
- Elected parliamentarians merely play an advisory role to absolute monarch King Mswati III.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) election observer missions to Eswatini, in their preliminary reports on the recently concluded Tinkhundla elections, said the polls fell within set standards and guidelines.
In a statement, the SADC election observer mission said the last absolute monarchy in Africa conducted “peaceful, calm and well-organised” elections that satisfied the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.
The mission also commended the Swati people for upholding peace before and during the election.
“The mission commends the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini for maintaining a peaceful political environment during the pre-election and on voting day,” the report says.
Acting Prime Minister Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze told the election observers: “We look forward to your recommendations after the completion of the 2023 general elections. We further register our commitment to achieving a fair, free, credible and peaceful election.”
The final report will be shared with Eswatini’s Elections and Boundaries Commission, and the government.
Three months later, it will be made available to all stakeholders.
Bankole Adeoye, the head of the AU election observer mission, said the election also satisfied the standards of the 2012 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, as well as Eswatini’s legal framework.
“We noted with satisfaction that the 2023 elections took place in a generally peaceful and calm climate,” said Adeoye.
The AU’s final report is due within the next 30 days.
The elected parliamentarians merely play an advisory role to King Mswati III in a system largely seen as the king cherry-picking his allies to enjoy state benefits.
Ahead of the election, Mswati pleaded with his subjects to vote for “people who will ensure that the kingdom remains peaceful; who love Eswatini and the nation; and who will continue to advance the kingdom’s development aspirations”.
But political parties are not allowed to take part in Eswatini’s elections, which are said to be based on “individual merit”.
The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
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Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/sadc-au-sign-off-on-eswatinis-undemocratic-election-20231002
Publish date : 2023-10-02 09:15:24