Electoral Systems, Representation, Inclusiveness and Democratic Governance: The Swaziland Experience

Musa. P. Dlamini

Abstract


In this article, we critically examine the socio-political system that provides a framework within which elections are conducted in Swaziland. The objective is to determine, inter alia, not only the extent to which elections and the socio-political system are an embodiment of the basic principles of representation, participation and inclusiveness but also those of democratic governance. We begin the analysis with a brief description of Swaziland’ unique political system- the Tinkhundla-the origins of which date back to the pre-colonial era. In so doing, we highlight the nature, strengths, weaknesses, problems and challenges of the political system. We conclude the analysis by arguing that, while Swaziland has made significant progress in terms of embracing constitutional government, considerable mileage is required in terms of the transformation and reform of the socio-political and electoral system, with a view to enabling it to conform to regional and/or international standards and principles of accountability, transparency, responsiveness and democratic governance.

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