By Nokunceda Magagula
The Eswatini government has congratulated His Majesty King Mswati III, Indlovukazi, and the Emaswati citizens for the remarkable success of the 2023 elections.
In an official press statement, government spokesperson Alpheous Nxumalo expressed sheer delight, saying, they are delighted with how the elections progressed since the election process began with the registration phase, followed by nominations, and primary elections, culminating in the secondary elections held on Friday, September 29, 2023.
The government commended emaSwati populace for exercising their universal and constitutional right to vote and be voted for, with a commendable display of peace and calm. Nxumalo emphasized that this year marked a historic moment, as he put it, “History was made with a record-breaking 91% registration rate among eligible voters, which is something that remains a dream for many countries across the globe.”
He added, reaffirming previous statements, that these figures affirm that the Tinkhundla system of governance is a participatory democratic system, where every liSwati has a say in the kind of Government they envision.
Nxumalo also expressed gratitude to diplomatic and development partners from various international blocs and nations for their unwavering support in ensuring the resounding success of the elections. These partners include the African Union, the European Union, the SADC Secretariat, the Commonwealth, the United States Embassy in Eswatini, and the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Maputo, which sent election observation missions to the country.
The government spokesperson noted the reports from these observers that unequivocally affirmed the free, fair, and peaceful nature of the national elections, reiterating that this has been the consistent norm since the very first Tinkhundla elections in 1978.
In response to the recommendations made by the election observers, particularly those regarding the importance of dialogue and fair representation of youth and women in Parliament, Nxumalo reiterated Eswatini’s commitment to these causes.
Regarding Sibaya, Nxumalo conveyed Emaswati’s anticipation for the forthcoming national dialogue called by His Majesty King Mswati III, scheduled for Monday, October 23, 2023.
Nxumalo further commended the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) for their exceptional work, stating, “This year, we saw a lot of improvement in terms of the voting process as voters voted in the shortest time possible, resulting in manageable queues. From here, we can only improve further. Well done, EBC!”
The government also extended congratulations to all the candidates who emerged victorious in their respective constituencies. Particular emphasis was placed on celebrating the eight women members of parliament-elect who secured seats in various Tinkhundla constituencies.
Nxumalo pointed out that this represents significant progress compared to the 2018 national elections when he said, “This is a huge improvement from 2018’s national elections where only two women were voted into Parliament. Congratulations.”
For those candidates who did not succeed, Nxumalo offered words of encouragement, saying, “Do not condemn yourselves, keep on playing your roles in your various communities, and support the incoming constituency and community leaders. Your time is still coming.”
In conclusion, Nxumalo encouraged the incoming Members of Parliament, Tindvuna Tetinkhundla, and Bucopho to carry out their responsibilities with integrity and unwavering loyalty to their constituents.