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SD praised for peaceful, fair elections

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By Musa Ndlangamandla - THE SWAZI OBSERVER-09-Sep-2009

HEADS of State of the SADC region have praised Swaziland among countries that have held successful, credible, peaceful, free and fair elections recently.

The leaders noted that the elections in the country reflected the will of the people and passed the test of international observers. This transpired during the SADC 29th Summit held in Kinshasa, DRC. The leaders praised the country shortly after His Majesty King Mswati III had presented his report as outgoing Chairman of the SADC Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

The leaders expressed deep satisfaction at Swaziland’s leadership role during its tenure and noted that, despite the fact that the period presented mountains of challenges, His Majesty provided good and stable leadership.

In his report earlier, His Majesty said in line with the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections and deepening of democratic culture and values in the region, the summit should note that the region had successfully held a considerable number of elections between August 2008 and July 2009 against the backdrop of challenges facing the region.

“Member states that held both parliamentary and presidential elections during the period under review are: Republic of Angola – September 2008 Kingdom of Swaziland – September 2008 Republic of Zambia – October 2008 Republic of South Africa – April 2009 Republic of Malawi –May 2009 “According to preliminary statements of the missions including SADC Electoral Mission, all the elections were pronounced free, fair and credible, reflecting the will of the citizens of the countries,” he said.

He also announced that the following member states will hold elections in the region between October and November 2009: n Botswana - 16 October 2009 n Mozambique – 28 October 2009 n Namibia – November 2009 n Angola presidential elections to be announced

“Since it is our first ordinary summit, we should also congratulate His Excellency Rupiah Banda of the Republic of Zambia; His Excellency Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi and His Excellency Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa and wish them well as Heads of State,” he said.

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