Swazi PM vows to stay put

2012-10-10 07:52


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Mbabane - Swazi Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini will stay in his post despite a vote of no-confidence from parliament, an aide insisted on Tuesday.

The embattled PM and his cabinet are refusing to step down despite the censure over a telephone licensing deal, with advisors insisting he serves at the pleasure of the country's absolute ruler, King Mswati III.

"The prime minister has clearly stated the position of the executive arm with regards to the vote of no confidence," said government spokesperson Percy Simelane.

"It's normal for people to squeal, but people should wait for the king to act. Then after that they can express their opinions on the matter."

Last Wednesday 42 members of parliament voted to oust the king's hand-picked cabinet in a show of independence from the highly-circumscribed legislature.

Dlamini's government had abruptly ordered the country's sole telephone provider SPTC to be switched off and its services replaced by South African firm MTN.

The case has provoked a constitutional crisis in sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy.

According to the constitution King Mswati must endorse the parliamentary resolution and dissolve the cabinet. But so far the king has not showed his hand and the premier has refused to budge.

The PM and his cabinet have survived the axe several times.

This year senior government officials were accused of giving themselves handsome pay rises while the country languishes in a cash crisis. Parliament intervened and reported the issue to the king, who spared prime minister from having to step down.

Read more on:    king mswati iii  |  swaziland  |  southern africa

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