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MBABANE – The ‘Vote For A Woman’ campaign is a big flop.  This is according to the official Primary Elections results statistics released by Chairperson of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), Chief Gija yesterday.

The figures indicate that only 98 women qualify to be elected as either Indvuna Yenkhundla (constituency headman) and Members of Parliament (MP).
In contrast, a total of 572 males will be competing against the 98 women come September 21, 2018, which is the date set for the Secondary Elections.
The statistics reveal that of the 98 women, only 44 of them qualify to be MPs while 287 men are part of the most wanted seat for the position of MP in the coming 11th Parliament.

In total, 331 candidates are in the race for being MP. In percentage form, the number of women against men stands at a very low 13.2 per cent, while the males are at 87.8 per cent.
There are only 59 seats available in Parliament for elected MPs while 10 others will be according to the Constitution, appointed by His Majesty King Mswati III.

According to the statistics, the Shiselweni II, Nkomiyahlaba and Ndzingeni Chiefdoms recorded the highest numbers of women, which was at three in all the aforementioned areas under the position of constituency headman.

Mahlangatsha Inkhundla had the highest number of women elected for the MP position (four), followed closely by Siphocosini Inkhundla where three women elected under the position of MP, were as three of them garnered enough votes to enter the race under that constituency.

During the nomination stage, the total number of women who qualified for the three positions was only 1 579 against 4 907 men.
The region with the highest female elected candidates for the positions of MP and Indvuna Yenkhundla was the Shiselweni Region, which elected 31 women.
They were followed by the Manzini Region where 29 females successfully contested the Primary Elections, then the Hhohho Region with 28 women.


The least number of female elected candidates came from the Lubombo Region, where only 10 made it to the next stage.
Some constituencies did not vote for any women into either position and these included Mntfongwaneni, Manzini North and the new Inkhundla, Kumethula.
Meanwhile, Gege Inkhundla had the highest number of male MP hopefuls, where 11 of them will be contesting for the same position.

They were followed by the new Kumethula Constituency, which is also in the Shiselweni Region,  where eight males will be battling out for the position of MP.
The Vote for a Woman campaign according to the statistics has taken a big knock.

In 2013, only one female MP, Esther Dlamini managed to be elected at Mbabane East Inkhundla, but unfortunately she crashed out of the race during the Primary Elections last Saturday as she lost to former Sihlangu coach Harries ‘Madze’ Bulunga.   
Should the women fail to make 30 per cent of parliamentarians during the first sitting of the House of Assembly, then Section 86 of the Constitution of Eswatini will apply.
The aforementioned clause states that the House shall then form itself into an electoral college and elect not more than four women on a regional basis to the House.
At a later stage, the MPs would then elect 10 senators, at least half of whom shall be female,  according to the Constitution.                    

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