The May 1972 General Election

Extracted from: "Swaziland" IN Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa (2002), edited by Tom Lodge, Denis Kadima and David Pottie, EISA, 328.

The first post-independence election was due in the first half of 1972. The King dissolved parliament in March and campaigning started shortly thereafter. The country's total population was about 500 000. Five political parties registered and nominated a total of 66 candidates to contest the 24 House of Assembly seats. The ruling INM [Imbokodvo National Movement], led by Prince Makhosini Dlamini, contested all 24 seats. The NNLC [Ngwane National Liberatory Congress] of Dr Ambrose Zwane had 19 candidates, the Samketi faction of the NNLC (named after its leader, Kingsley T Samketi) put up 14 candidates, the Swaziland Progressive Party had three candidates, and the Swaziland United Front six.

The elections took place without disturbances on 16 and 17 May 1972. The outcome was another landslide victory for the INM, which won 21 of the 24 National Assembly seats. The main opposition party, the NNLC, realised its dream of being represented in the National Assembly by winning the remaining three seats. Reference has already been made to the controversy that arose over the citizenship of one of the three elected NNLC member of parliament [see King Sobhuza II and Regent Queen Dzeliwe (1968-1986)], and served as the pretext for the King's declaration of a state of emergency.


Contesting parties: INM, NNLC, SPP, SUF and NNLC (Samketi).
Leaders: Prince Makhosini Dlamini (INM); Dr Ambrose P Zwane (NNLC); JJ Nquku (SPP); Obed M Mabuza (SUF) and Kingsley T Samketi (NNLC-Samketi).
Number of constituencies: 24.
Results: 21 of the 24 contested seats went to the INM the remaining three to the NNLC