Eswatini’s King Mswati dissolves parliament in preparation for elections

Africa's last absolute monarch defies Southern African Development Community on national dialogue but moves ahead with polls

Phathizwe Zulu  | 12.07.2023 - Update : 12.07.2023
Eswatini’s King Mswati dissolves parliament in preparation for elections King of Swaziland Mswati III ( Alaattin Doğru - Anadolu Agency )

LOBAMBA, Eswatini 

Eswatini’s King Mswati III spoke to thousands of citizens from his Ludzidzini Royal Residence on Tuesday, saying it was time to dissolve parliament to prepare for national elections in September. 

“It is time to dissolve parliament to allow the nation to elect new MPs who prioritize the country’s development. The nation must elect people who will not elevate their selfish needs over national interests,” he said.

Sibongile Mazibuko, president of Ngwane National Liberatory Congress, said King Mswati was deceptive towards the nation after the unrest in June 2021.

“The King was not truthful in his speech. He promised SADC (Southern African Development Community) dialogue, but he never instituted any. Even he is misleading the nation to believe that new graduates will be employed, but where will the budget come from? The health sector has collapsed and the economy is not performing well,” said Mazibuko.

Pro-democracy protests erupted in June 2021 following the death of a 25-year-old law student who allegedly died at the hands of the police. Over 1,000 people were arrested and security forces were called in to stamp out dissent.

The Kingdom of Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is a land-locked country in southern Africa.

The monarchy of Eswatini holds judicial and executive powers, and the king appoints the prime minister.

Eswatini’s parliament has a bicameral system consisting of the House of Assembly and the House of Senate. People elect 59 MPs from their chiefdoms and 10 MPs are appointed by the king.

The king then appoints 20 members, while the House of Assembly elects 10 members into the House of Senate.

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