Constitution of Swaziland

Status: National monarchy

Legislature: Parliament of Swaziland

Independence: 6 September 1968

Under the 2006 constitution the Kingdom of Swaziland is an absolute monarchy. The monarch appoints the prime minister and approves the cabinet and can veto legislation and dissolve parliament, though since July 2005 he can no longer rule by decree.

Under the tinkhundla electoral system, which was introduced in 1978 and amended in 1993 and 2005, there is a bicameral parliament. The House of Assembly has up to 69 members, ten (including at least five women) appointed by the monarch, 55 elected by universal adult suffrage from a list provided by the tinkhundla (tribal or community committees) and four women elected by the two houses of parliament (one from each region). The Senate has up to 30 members, with ten chosen by the Assembly (including at least five women) and 20 by the monarch (at least eight women).

In each of the 55 tinkhundla, numerous candidates are nominated by show of hands; these are then reduced in secret ballots to three candidates per tinkhundla; the 55 Assembly members are elected in a general election.

The 2006 constitution made provision for an independent judiciary and for human rights, including freedom of assembly and association, but it made no reference to political parties.