Swaziland - Country history and economic development

1867. Swaziland formally becomes a British protectorate.

1961. The Union of South Africa breaks relations with Britain and toughens racial segregation policies (known as apartheid). Britain accelerates the decolonization process in the region, and Swaziland is granted internal autonomy.

1868. Swaziland gains independence from Britain. King Sobhuza II is recognized as head of state and governs with 2 legislative chambers.

Household Consumption in PPP Terms
Country All food Clothing and footwear Fuel and power a Health care b Education b Transport & Communications Other
Swaziland 25 7 9 6 13 8 32
United States 13 9 9 4 6 8 51
South Africa N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Lesotho N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Data represent percentage of consumption in PPP terms.
a Excludes energy used for transport.
b Includes government and private expenditures.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

1972. Swaziland holds its first parliamentary elections; the traditionalist Imbokodvo National Movement wins.

1973. King Sobhuza II declares the constitution un-workable, dissolves parliament, and prohibits political parties and trade unions. The Royal Defence Forces are reactivated.

1977. Elections to Parliament are held under the local council system.

1982. King Sobhuza II dies. The powers of head of state are transferred to Queen Mother Dzeliwe, who is named regent. In a power struggle, traditionalists gain the upper hand.

1983. Prime Minister Prince Mabandla Dlamini, head of the liberal faction, is dismissed and replaced by conservative Prince Bhekimpi Dlamini. The Queen Regent is presented with document transferring most of her power to the Liqoqo, a traditional advisory body. On her refusal to sign, she is ousted in favor of Ntombi, mother of the heir apparent, Prince Makhosetive. Ntombi is installed as Regent, and power rests with the Liqoqo.

1986. Prince Makhosetive is installed as King Mswati III at the age of 18, and the Liqoqo is abolished.

1987. King Mswati III dissolves parliament in September, 1 year early. In November, elections are held and a new cabinet is appointed.

1992. In February the People's United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) declares itself an opposition party, which is illegal.

1993. More than 50 opposition activists are arrested, including leaders of PUDEMO and the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO). The local council system of indirect elections ends, and direct elections are held.

1996. PUDEMO announce plans for a campaign of protests and civil disobedience following the govern-ment's failure to respond to demands for the installation of a multi-party system and for the adoption of a constitution that would restrict the monarch to symbolic role in government.

1997. In mid-October the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) calls for countrywide strikes in support of demands for democratic reform after talks with the government fail to produce any agreement. Support for strikes is low as a result of the limited success of earlier strikes.

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