Swaziland. According to
Countryaah, the opposition demonstrated in April against
the authoritarian regime, partly on the king's birthday and
partly on the celebration of four decades of absolute
monarchy. Several activists were arrested and prosecuted for
In April, a prominent editor was also sentenced to the
equivalent of SEK 250,000 in fines, alternatively
imprisonment, accused of scandalizing the judicial system
through critical articles, among other things. about a
contentious chief judge. According to the bar, the chief
judge was responsible for systematically undermining the
independence of the judicial system.
In May, it was reported that over 40 tonnes of food aid
were found rotting in the government's warehouses. Earlier,
it had been revealed that the financially pressured regime
sold corn donated from Japan and used the money for other
purposes. According to a report by the United Nations Food
Agency (FAO), about 116,000 Swaziland people were in need of
food aid, a sharp increase from 2012.
In May, the opposition also called for a boycott of the
parliamentary elections, to be held in August and September.
It was said that Parliament acts as a stamp on the king's
autocratic rule. Political parties are prohibited from
participating in the elections, and candidates are nominated
by local parishes with traditional chieftains appointed by
Before the elections in Swaziland, the ANC government in
South Africa made an unusual statement by calling for
democracy in the neighboring country and demanding that
political prisoners be released. The ANC also demanded that
opposition people in exile - many in South Africa - be
allowed to return freely to their home country.
The first round of elections was held in August, and
before the second round in September, King Mswati declared
that the country had a new political system, a monarch
democracy. The king said he had received a vision of this
from God during a thunderstorm, and he described the new
system as a marriage between the monarch and the ballot box.
The king's statement aroused anger among democracy
Of the 55 members elected - ten appointed directly by the
king - after the second round, there was a democracy
activist, Jan Sithole, leader of the Swaziland Democratic
Party (Swadepa). Since the party is not allowed to stand,
Sithole was elected as an independent candidate. He promised
to make legislative proposals on freedom of expression,
assembly and press and legalization of political parties.
Although this is in the Constitution, it has not been
confirmed in other legislation.
In November, students at Swaziland University were
arrested and beaten by police when they objected to what
they perceived as injustice at the university. In the
Vuvulane area, demonstrative farmers were arrested when they
opposed eviction from land they had access to for
The American think tank Freedom House came out during the
year with a shocking report on the urgent need for political
and economic reforms in Swaziland. The desperate living
conditions of the vast majority of Swaziland people were
compared to conditions that prevail after natural disasters
and armed conflicts. The constant state of emergency in the
country is due to the greed of the royal family and
exacerbated by incompetence and abuse of power in the
government, the report said.