PUDEMO wants political parties to produce head of government
MBABANE – While there are growing calls for the Kingdom of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland to opt for the direct election of the Prime Minister by the electorate as opposed to the appointment of the PM by His Majesty King Mswati III, the proscribed People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) differs with what has become the talk of the landlocked kingdom, according to Brian Sangweni, who said his organisation started long time ago to deliberate on the topic and also call for democratic changes as a future of the country.
“The question that we must first deal with is; does the direct election of the Prime Minister guarantee us as a country the ideals as stated in our manifesto as quoted, which is our fundamental vision for a just society, in our view all this cannot come with the mere election of an individual into the position of a Prime Minister. Electing one person in the current establishment will not confer power to the people.
“PUDEMO’s correct conclusion is that the real problem in this country is not individualistic, but it is with the current system of government. It is the system that permits the institution of the Monarchy to exercise powers that entrench the royal family in all sectors of society, which is the core problem,” said the PUDEMO spokesperson to Siyalu Media
PUDEMO believes that in order to address the democratic inadequacies that exist in the country, it requires systematic changes that will focus on giving the people genuine power to determine their own affairs, as opposed to what was obtaining currently.
Also, while elections were meant at ensuring that power was conferred to the people, however, it was not the desired path meant at ensuring that people exercised their power to determine their destiny. In that regard the PUDEMO spokesperson believes in elections that go beyond individuals, but in elections for people’s development which are underpinned on their popular participation, not on elections based on individuals as it was the case with the current Tinkhundla- directed elections.
Sangweni believes that his organisation can get majority votes thus they can then produce the prime minister under a constitutional multiparty democracy, where political parties flag their policies and developmental strategies for people to choose from on the basis of viable election manifestos and not individuals.
“Strong institutions can steer the national development agenda; people need to organise themselves into institutions in the form of political parties that will in turn organise the institutions of governance for the maximum benefit of the people themselves. The direct election of a prime minister can only work within the context of political parties, whereby the elected individuals will represent collective ideas of the people rather than their own.
As a parting shot, the firebrand secretary said emaSwati should not waste their valuable time and energy by debating the non-existent option of directly electing the prime minister under the present scenario, where there were elections devoid of people’s development. He described the current hullaballoo engulfing the country, led by some parliamentarians, like an act of splashing a bucketful of water on the back of a runaway duck.