Swaziland’s banned opposition groups complained the ludicrous attempt by the nation’s absolute monarch to pretend that elections meant anything was merely a reflection of the failure to attempt democracy. The Constitution does allow elections but it forbids the existence of political parties. Mario Masuku, of the banned People’s United Democratic Movement, sees “this election as a window dressing exercise (which is)trying to pull wool over the eyes of the international community. We urge the international community to intensify the pressure on the Swazi government so that it embraces democratization.”
What can one say about a nation whose elections make those in Zimbabwe come across as a paragon of democracy in action? The need for democratic elections is apparent given that Swaziland has 70% of its people living below the poverty line and almost 40% having HIV/Aids. What else can be said?