Crisis in Swaziland


A constitutional and political crisis is breaking in Swaziland following a vote of no-confidence in the government by the parliament last Wednesday.

In the no confidence vote 45 of the 65 members of the House of Assembly voted against the Cabinet and in normal circumstances they would have been obliged to stand down. However, Swaziland is the last country in southern Africa with an absolute monarch who makes all final decisions. The no confidence vote was held over a telephone licensing deal where the country’s telephone provider Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) found it had been replaced by the South African telecommunications firm MTN.

Normally the Cabinet would have three days to resign or King Mswati III would be obliged to accept the no confidence decision under the constitution. The King would then dismiss the Cabinet but there has been silence from the Monarch. As a result Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini and his Cabinet are refusing to resign.

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