The credibility of the election nomination process in Swaziland has been damaged as it emerged that many people who wanted to nominate candidates were prevented from doing so. And, separately it has been reported that some people were nominated against the election rules. Also, cabinet ministers in the outgoing government who were nominated may not be eligible to stand, according to the Swazi Constitution. Nominations took place across Swaziland at the weekend (3-4 August 2013) to choose candidates for the ‘primary’ elections that will take place in chiefdoms on 24 August. But, the Times of Swaziland, the only independent daily newspaper in the kingdom, reported that people who wanted to nominate candidates could not so because they failed to get the attention of the electoral officer.
The process used required people to gather at a meeting place, often a kraal, and wait to be called by an electoral officer to make their nomination. At many places crowds were large and not everyone who wanted to make a nomination was spotted by the electoral officer.
Burns Dlamini, a writer for the Times, reported he personally was prevented from nominating. He wrote, ‘In my case I had my hand up for a better part of the two hours while the community battled with nominating MPs and I ended up giving up.’
He added, ‘I mean, when you have a hundred people with their hands up to nominate and you end up with only 11 nominations, how fair and representative is that?’