Electoral campaigning is the process by which a candidate seeks electoral support a bid to win a political office. It is organized by the Elections Management Body (EMB) and is also conducted independently by each candidate.
When is Campaigning Conducted?
- The campaigning is prescribed by the Electoral laws of the country and is monitored by the elections stakeholders.
- Immediately after primary elections up to the day before secondary elections.
- Section 87 (5) of the Constitution stipulates that no canvassing of votes shall be done at primary level as persons are nominated on the basis of being known in the community.
The campaign process is divided into two categories, these are:
- The organized campaign– It is initiated by the Commission and its main purpose is to introduce the candidates in the chiefdoms under that constituency. Candidates are given an opportunity to present their agenda in line with the national vision. The electorate is then given the opportunity to interrogate candidates to make an informed decision on the day of the poll. The Returning Officer control the meeting in terms of the equal time allocated to each candidate. The Commission provides transport during the organized campaign. The date for the campaign is determined by the commission, the candidates and chiefdoms involved.
- The general campaign – candidates are free to mount their own campaign subject to the laws of the country. The print media also assist in articulating the agenda of various candidates.
Where are the organised campaign meeting held?
- At the chiefdom or suitable venues in the urban areas.
How does EBC assist in campaigning?
- Liaising with traditional authorities and candidates.
- Providing relevant reading material to the candidates.
- Transporting the candidates to and from organized campaign venues.
What is unfair campaigning?
- Personal attacks
- Rumours and innuendos
- Distortions and lies
- Undue influence
- Campaigning on polling day
- Unsubstantiated charges of misconduct
The Swazi nation is advised to attend the organized meetings in their chiefdoms or Inkhundla because it will assist them to make an informed choice when voting.