Swaziland's non-party political system and the 2013 Tinkhundla elections


The Kingdom of Swaziland is widely recognised as an absolute monarchy and a non-party state where executive authority lies in the king as the head of state, governing with his Advisory Council and traditional advisers.1 The monarchical political system is a stark departure from the policy framework of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which considers democracy and popular participation to be part of the imperatives of economic development and human security.2 The Swaziland 2005 constitution, whose democratic legitimacy is contested because the constitution-making process was highly defective, effectively vests legislative power in the king, Mswati III, who can veto all legislation approved by parliament. This is a major weakness of the tinkhundla constituency model, since even an elected legislature cannot override the veto.

Author: Dimpho Motsamai






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