Politics of Swaziland

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This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Swaziland

Politics of Swaziland takes place in a mixed framework of an absolute monarchy and a constitutional monarchy. Swaziland today is foremost ruled by a monarch, although for all of its administrative history prior to British colonization in 1903, it might have more properly been called a diarchy.

Contents

Monarchy

According to current Swazi law and custom, the monarch holds supreme executive, legislative, and judicial powers. History is short, however, and in Swaziland's case is punctuated with a 65 year reign (including a 23 year regency) of Sobhuza II of Swaziland. The Ngwenyama (King, lion, representing the hardness as expressed in thunder[clarification needed]) is a hereditary leader, rules the country, with the assistance of a council of ministers and a national legislature. The Ndlovukati (Senior Queen, preferentially the mother of the king, she-elephant, representing softness as in water[clarification needed]) is in charge of national rituals, and acts as regent if her counterpart Ngwenyama dies and the heir has not performed royal adulthood rituals or is indisposed. If the king's mother is no longer living, one of the king's wives may act as Ndlovukati. In Sobhuza II's case, his grandmother theNdlovukati Labotsibeni Mdluli was regent from his choice as infant heir in 1899 following the death of his father Bhunu until his accession to full authority in 1922, when his mother Lomawa Ndwandwe became the ndlovukati. Later in his long reign three other women became senior queen, when an ndlovukati" died, another was appointed from among his senior wives.

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