The Evolution of the Swazi Electoral Process: Ideological Contradictions, 1978-2015

The subject of the election process has been analysed by different scholars
in different historical periods. On the African continent this subject gained
prominence after the Second World War when most African countries gained
independence from colonial powers. This interest is because of the assumption
that both electoral processes and elections are indicators of a transition to
democracy and of its consolidation. Evidence indicates that electoral processes
in different countries have evolved over time either as a reflection of a positive
transition to democracy, or because leaders manipulate the process in order
to pursue their own political agendas. This article analyses the evolution of
the Swazi electoral process from the time of British colonial rule. The article
argues that the Swazi electoral process has evolved over the past fifty years
through manipulation by King Sobhuza II and later his son King Mswati III
in order to retain their control and dominance over the Swazi population. It
shows that as a result of such manipulation, the Swazi electoral process has
undermined the transition to democracy in the country.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: autocratic rule, constitution, democracy, electoral process, evolution, indigenisation, monarchy, reform, traditionalists
journal of african elections vol16 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa