mercredi, 15 août 2018
 

Swaziland : Mswati’s elections are purely to reinforce his grip on power, and nothing else

The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) is urging people in Swaziland to show their opposition to the autocratic regime of King Mswati III by refusing to vote in the anti-democracy elections being held Friday 20 September.

The party is also calling on the countries of the southern African region, and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to condemn Mswati’s election farce. No political parties or individuals organizing on an opposition mandate are allowed to take part in the elections. They are neither free nor fair, nor are they democratic according to any of the recognized norms upheld by the international community.

The CPS heavily disputes the attempts by the British establishment ‘think tank’ Chatham House to make the elections and the Mswati regime in general appear open to limited democratic involvement that could pave the way to democratic change. This unctuous view masquerading as nuanced analysis was echoed by Peter Fabricius, the foreign editor of SA Independent Newspapers, in an article for the Institute for Strategic Studies, 12 September.

Fabricius and Chatham House’s analysis states that the individual participation of some people such as members of the Swaziland Democratic Party, including its leader Jan Sithole, is proof of the openings that do exist for democratic involvement in Swazi ruling structures. Fabricius obtusely dismisses the objection by the CPS that Chatham House’s analysis of the situation in Swaziland amounts to an attempt to soft sell the elections.

The CPS is firmly of the view that because no political platforms are tolerated in Swaziland that espouse multiparty democratic rule through free and fair elections and an end to the monarchic autocracy the elections are vacuous.

There is a long history of bloody repression, intimidation, torture, detention without trial, and the cynical use of warped juridical processes against people who have actively worked for democracy and an end to tyranny.

None of this bothers or even interests Chatham House or the obsequious Fabricius. They represent a strand of reactionary conservative thinking that blithely overlooks the fact that the oppression of the Swazi people through enforced poverty, and high rates of disease and low life expectancy are intimately bound up with the monarchic dictatorship that was established some 40 years ago.

They are entirely ignorant of the impossibility of using any of the cardboard rights that exist in the 2005 Constitution, which was put in place merely as window-dressing for a credulous international community. There is no bill of rights, no constitutional court to enforce the Constitution, and no right of appeal concerning the blanket violation of the more positive-sounding parts of the Constitution. It is a document marinated in meaninglessness. It is impossible to implement because it is the very basis for shoring up and affirming the absolute monarchy that is the cause of the lack of rights to begin with.

The CPS has been running a highly visible campaign in Swaziland to oppose the elections by boycotting and otherwise disrupting them. In doing so our comrades and supporters have become the target of police violence and intimidation. At present, our deputy general secretary, Musa Dube, is in solitary confinement, following his arrest for campaigning against Mswati’s elections game.

The CPS is gravely concerned about Cde Dube’s situation. He is vulnerable to all forms of police barbarity, which in the past have resulted in murders in custody. The CPS appeals to all individuals and organizations to petition the Mswati regime, and to call on the international community and national governments to demand Musa Dube’s immediate release.

The CPS stands side-by-side with all its compatriots who refuse to take part in Mswati’s elections farce, and with all pro-democracy organizations and groups that have steadfastly opposed them. The CPS reiterates its demand that SADC and the countries that comprise it come out against the inevitable use Mswati will make of the elections to reaffirm his position as absolute ruler presiding over a puppet parliament.

No to Mswati’s elections farce ! Yes to free, fair, democratic elections !

Yes to socialism and freedom !

Contacts :

Kenneth Kunene

General Secretary

Mobile : +2772 594 3971

Email : ken.manze@gmail.com

Felix Mabaso

International Organizer

Mobile : +2774 922 8277

Email : felixmabaso@gmail.com

 
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