Swaziland’s King Mswati III is set to become the next chairman of the Southern African Development Community at the regional heads of state and government summit to be held in Swaziland’s capital, Mbabane, in August.
But the kingdom’s pro-democracy groups say the country’s absolute monarch should not be allowed to lead the regional body. They argued the king’s administration continuously violates the fundamental rights of citizens by preventing freedom of speech and association.
King Mswati recently told an SADC parliamentary forum that the kingdom’s monarchical democracy — which his administration established — is “a new democratic ideology that works.”
Voice of America
Swaziland’s King Mswati III, Africa’s last remaining absolute monarchy, is seeking to rebrand his rule as a form of democracy.
Explaining his new definition of democracy to an assembly of regional MPs, the king said as far as he was concerned, democracy meant that he permits his subjects to elect some of his counsellors who advise him.
“The ballot box is the will of the people who vote for an individual, who will provide advice and counsel to the king,” Mswati said in a speech delivered by his hand-picked Deputy Prime Minister Paul Shabangu.