VOTE BOYCOTTERS 'FACE TREASON CHARGE'

From Swazi Media Commentary Wed Jan 16 2013, 13:10:00

Opponents of Swaziland's non-democratic national poll this year could face a charge of treason and the death penalty, a senior election official said.

Many prodemocracy groups and individuals are campaigning for a boycott of the election because political parties are banned in the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch, and the parliament has no real powers.

Mzwandile Fakudze, deputy chair of the Elections Boundaries Commission (EBC), told the Swazi Observer, the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati, those who seek to stand in the way of elections, which is tantamount to treason, will face the wrath of the law.

The newspaper quoted him saying, 'Committing the offence of treason entails when a person subverts or shows potential to subvert the activities of the state even if it is without the use of arms, weapons or military equipment.'

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