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Autonomy for the Swazis of southern Africa was guaranteed by the British in the late 19th century; independence was granted in 1968. Student and labor unrest during the 1990s pressured King MSWATI III, Africa's last absolute monarch, to grudgingly allow political reform and greater democracy, although he has backslid on these promises in recent years. A constitution came into effect in 2006, but the legal status of political parties remains unclear. The African United Democratic Party tried unsuccessfully to register as an official political party in mid 2006. Talks over the constitution broke down between the government and progressive groups in 2007. Swaziland recently surpassed Botswana as the country with the world's highest known HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Kingdom of Swaziland
Conventional short form Swaziland
Local long form Umbuso weSwatini
Local short form ESwatini

Government type
Monarchy

Capital
Name Mbabane
Geographic coordinates 26 19 S, 31 08 E
Time difference
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Note
Lobamba (royal and legislative capital)

Administrative divisions
4 districts; Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, Shiselweni

Independence
6 September 1968 (from the UK)

Constitution
Signed by the King July 2005; went into effect 8 February 2006

Legal system
Mixed legal system of civil, common, and customary law

International law organization participation
Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt

Suffrage
18 years of age

Executive branch
Chief of state
King MSWATI III (since 25 April 1986)
Head of government
Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso DLAMINI (since 16 October 2008)
Cabinet
Cabinet recommended by the prime minister and confirmed by the monarch
Elections
None; the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch from among the elected members of the House of Assembly

Legislative branch
Bicameral Parliament or Libandla consists of the Senate (30 seats; 10 members elected by the House of Assembly and 20 appointed by the monarch; members to serve five-year terms) and the House of Assembly (65 seats; 10 members appointed by the monarch and 55 elected by popular vote; members to serve five-year terms)
Elections
House of Assembly - last held on 19 September 2008 (next to be held in September 2013)
Election results
House of Assembly - balloting is done on a nonparty basis; candidates for election nominated by the local council of each constituency and for each constituency the three candidates with the most votes in the first round of voting are narrowed to a single winner by a second round

Judicial branch
Supreme Court; High Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission

Political parties and leaders
The status of political parties, previously banned, is unclear under the 2006 Constitution and currently being debated; the following are considered political associations; African United Democratic Party or AUDP [Stanley MAUNDZISA, president]; Imbokodvo National Movement or INM; Ngwane National Liberatory Congress or NNLC [Obed DLAMINI, president]; People's United Democratic Movement or PUDEMO [Mario MASUKU, president]

Political pressure groups and leaders
Swaziland Democracy Campaign; Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions; Swaziland Solidarity Network or SSN

International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission
Ambassador Abednigo Mandla NTSHANGASE
Chancery
1712 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Telephone [1] (202) 234-5002
FAX [1] (202) 234-8254

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Earl M. IRVING
Embassy 2350 Mbabane Place, Mbabane
Mailing address P. O. Box 199, Mbabane
Telephone [268] 404-2445
FAX [268] 404-2059

Flag description
Three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (triple width), and blue; the red band is edged in yellow; centered in the red band is a large black and white shield covering two spears and a staff decorated with feather tassels, all placed horizontally; blue stands for peace and stability, red represents past struggles, and yellow the mineral resources of the country; the shield, spears, and staff symbolize protection from the country's enemies, while the black and white of the shield are meant to portray black and white people living in peaceful coexistence

National symbol(s)
Lion; elephant

National anthem
Name
"Nkulunkulu Mnikati wetibusiso temaSwati" (Oh God, Bestower of the Blessings of the Swazi)
Lyrics/music
Andrease Enoke Fanyana SIMELANE/David Kenneth RYCROFT
Note
Adopted 1968; the anthem uses elements of both ethnic Swazi and Western music styles


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  Swaziland (Mbabane):


  GPS points from Swaziland (Mbabane)

Mtimpili River Swaziland (general)

Umzimneni River Swaziland (general)

Nsoko Lubombo District

Mtombe River Swaziland (general)

Mgamane Shiselweni District

Rio Sechane Swaziland (general)

Ponjane Hills Swaziland (general)

Landwado Kop Swaziland (general)




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