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Allow political parties to operate freely - EU

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MBABANE – The European Union has called upon government to allow political parties, including civil organisations, to operate freely in the country.

This was said by Koen Vervaeke, the EU Director for Southern and Eastern Africa at the European External Action Service (EEAS), when addressing a press conference at the EU offices yesterday.

Vervaeke said the EU respected that democracy was not a one size fits all but it was important that internationally accepted principles were respected.

He stressed that freedom of association and expression were key in this respect.

"Freedom of association is provided for in Section 25 of the Swaziland Constitution," he observed. "I have called on the country’s authorities to make this a reality for all civil society organisations, including political parties."

He noted that it was fundamental for government to abide by and respect the aforementioned Section as enshrined in the supreme law of the land.

The director, during his two-day high-level visit concluded yesterday, said he met with His Majesty King Mswati III, Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, Cabinet ministers as well as members of the civil society organisations and political parties.

Vervaeke, flanked by Ambassador EU Ambassador Hans DUYNHOUWER, said: "The meetings discussed a range of issues including the upcoming parliamentary elections and the future of the EU-Swaziland cooperation under the 11th EDF (European Development Fund)."

He described his visit as successful and pledged the EU continued commitment to ‘our partnership with Swaziland’.


COMMENTS:

- Sorry shame EU, this can never happen in the Kingdom of Eswatini.
March 20, 2013, 2:34 pm, Bheki Mabaso

- i hope that political parties are a good move for the country but at the moment why cant Swaziland conducts it elections the usual way but concomitant with the a referendum. it is politically correct to acertain if swazi were ifn favour of multi-partism or their unique democracy. democracy is majority rule but a kind of a rule with checks and balances, transparency, and accountability. what compromises tyhe whole tinkhundla philosophy is that the institution of the mornachy is directly involved in politics yet it becomes difficult for the nation to critique the institution of the monarchy. so if we can ascetain are the people for tinkhundla or multi-party democracy. this can save us costs as elections can be staged with referendum. then if changes based on outcomes are essential. then we craft proper policies. now it can give us teething problem and shadow coherence.
March 20, 2013, 1:37 pm, stanley sangweni

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