Swaziland
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VOTER REGISTRATION EXTENDED TO SUNDAY AFTER MASSIVE RESPONSE

LOBAMBA – The deadline for voter registration for the 2023 National General Elections has been extended to Sunday June 18, 2023, at 6pm.

Registration for the general elections commenced on May 10 and was due to end yesterday (June 14, 2023). The extension for registration follows an interest by emaSwati, who flocked the registration centres in the last minute. As of 7:30pm yesterday, some registration centres were still operating. By the time the announcement of the extension was made, around 524 240 emaSwati had registered. This means about 48 000 emaSwati had registered by then, as by close of business on Tuesday, 475 717 had registered.

Extension

Announcing the extension, the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) Deputy Chairperson, Bishop Sipho Tembe, stated that, following the massive response by emaSwati to register for the general elections, especially towards the deadline, it pleased His Majesty King Mswati III to command them to extend the registration period.  Tembe stated that it was the commissions hope and belief that emaSwati would take advantage of the extension and register in numbers, both young and old, as they had already done so in the initial registration period. Tembe said to counter the long queues, they decided to bring the equipment from centres that were not busy in rural areas to those that attracted high numbers within the city centres. He said in some centres, there were no people registering, hence they took the equipment to work with in other areas, including the clerks. The chairperson said areas like Matsapha were busy and had long queues, hence the clerks who were working in areas that were not busy were deployed there.  This, he said, made the registration faster. Meanwhile, he said they had still not added the numbers of those registering outside the country known as diaspora. Tembe said they were hoping that by the end of the day today, they would have them.Furthermore, he said they had one of the best systems which they were using to register, which promoted efficiency. Of note, is that the voter registration for the 2018 General Election commenced on the May 13 to June 17. Due to the large turnout of registrants on the last day, the exercise was extended to July 1, 2018 in selected areas and limited only to the EBC Head Offices, regional offices and major town centres.