Following the news yesterday (3 October 2008) that the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) observers had declared Swaziland’s election free and fair comes a report from the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) that denounces the poll because political parties were not allowed to take part.
The AFP news agency reports Mary Mugyenyi, the head of the Pan-African Parliament mission, saying, ‘The non-participation of political parties makes these elections extraordinary from any others but we hope with time things will change.’
She added, ‘What we see here is people choosing their leaders to represent them in parliament. They are not from any political parties.’
A spokesman for the Elections Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) said Swaziland electoral laws were different from any other African country.
‘The electoral process is difficult to understand. We are aware that the two months leading to the elections have seen intensified campaigns to end the system,’ said EISA’s Victor Shale.