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Mbabane - King Mswati III of Swaziland has made his appointments to parliament this week largely a family affair.
The king has appointed three brothers, a sister and three other members of the ruling Dlamini clan to occupy seven of the 10 MP positions chosen by the king.
The other three positions are occupied by a Swazi chief and two staunch traditionalists. They will join 55 elected MPs.
The king has also positioned his half-brother, Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini, to the same position.
“By appointing his half-brother to become MP, Mswati has fulfilled the constitutional requirement that the PM must be chosen from the House of Assembly,” said constitutional scholar Absalom Vilakati.
Dlamini has served two terms as prime minister - 1998-2003 and 2008-2013.
The constitution forbids PMs from serving two consecutive terms, and Mswati may reappoint the prime minister who has been effective in suppressing political opposition to royal rule in both his terms, Vilakati said.
All Swazi prime ministers belong to the Dlamini clan.
The king will also appoint 20 of the House of Senate’s 30 members. The other 10 will be selected by the House of Assembly. The Swazi people cannot select senators.
None of the king’s MP appointments are newcomers. All have served the king before and their loyalty is assured.
The king’s choices were announced by his half-brother, Chief Gija Dlamini, whom the king appointed chairman of the Elections Committee.
Independent Foreign Service