MBABANE. – A 34-member Southern African Development Community (SADC) election observer mission arrived in eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) on Sunday, to observe the second round of polls set for Friday.
The SADC delegation, which is drawn from 10 countries, is headed by Zambian lawmaker Highvie Hamududu and arrived in Mbabane on Sunday.
Hamududu said they would be looking at the ongoing campaign process and the actual voting set to take place on 21 September.
“We will also monitor the counting process after which we will compile a comprehensive report to submit on September 23,” the team leader said.
Over 1,000 candidates are contesting for 59 House of Assembly seats and 59 positions for constituency headmen.
On September 21, more than 500,000 registered voters will elect 55 parliamentarians to the House of Assembly.
King Mswati III, eSwatini’s powerful monarch, will appoint the remaining 10 to make up the lower house of 65 representatives.
The elected MPs will then choose 10 senators for the upper house, while the king will select 20 more.
With a wide range of powers allowing the king to summon and dissolve parliament or declare a state of emergency, Eswatini, home to some 1.4 million people, is ranked among the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies. – News agencies