Eswatini has a new prime minister

King Mswati III of Eswatini

King Mswati III of Eswatini

PHOTO: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images

  • Dlamini became the twelfth prime minister since 1967.
  • The prime minister will, in the following days, advise the king to select the cabinet ministers.
  • During the just-ended Isibaya gatherings a speaker called for political parties to be allowed to take part in elections.

At the end of the two-week-long Isibaya gathering in Eswatini, King Mswati III appointed Russell Mmemo Dlamini as the new prime minister of the last absolute monarchy in Africa.

Dlamini is the former chief executive officer of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA).

He takes over the prime minister’s job from Mgwagwa Gamedze, who has been in an acting role since September after the king dissolved parliament in preparation for the tinkhundla elections.

In the last legislature, Cleopas Dlamini was prime minister.

Since the post was established in 1967, Eswatini has had 11 prime ministers and eight acting prime ministers.

Only the late Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini was prime minister twice, from 1996 to 2003 and again from 2008 to 2018.

The prime minister can only serve two terms at most.

The new prime minister won a seat at the tinkhundla elections in October.

READ | Parties urged members to stand in ‘farce’ Swazi elections

Members of parliament in Eswatini only play an advisory role to the king.

The prime minister’s main role will be to chair cabinet meetings as the head of government.

According to Eswatini laws, the king will then choose cabinet ministers “on advice from the prime minister.”

Political parties are not allowed to take part in elections that SADC said were largely peaceful.

On the second day of Isibaya, a Swati man called on the king to allow political parties to take part in elections before he had the microphone taken away from him.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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