Key Dates | Freedom House

Key Dates

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1903 British establish rule over Swaziland and the Transvaal
1944 Britain declares Sobhuza II as Native Authority in Swaziland
1964 Sobhuza II forms his own party, the Imbokodvo National Movement
6 September 1968 Swaziland becomes independent within the Commonwealth and adopts a new constitution  
12 April 1973 Sobhuza II issues a proclamation rescinding the constitution, banning political parties and allocating all powers to the king
1978 A new constitution enshrines electoral representation by tinkhundla, constituencies of between 5 and 10 chiefdoms
21 August 1982    King Sobhuza dies at age 83 without a designated heir
1983 PUDEMO is founded by mostly students and other youth
25 April 1986 Makhosetive is installed as King Mswati III
1992 PUDEMO announces it is unbanning itself
1996  King Mswati announces a constitutional review commission
November 2002 Mswati buys a $45m jet despite parliament cancelling the order
August 2005   After 8 years work, King Mswati signs a new constitution; the king is placed above all laws and there is no role foreseen for political parties
September 2008 A bomb explodes 1 km from the king’s principal palace
November 2008 PUDEMO, SWAYOCO, SSN and other groups are proscribed as terrorist organizations under a new Suppression of Terrorism Act
April 2011 Police crack down on opposition ahead of planned demonstrations for political reform
November 2011 Swaziland is hit by a budget crisis described by the IMF as ‘critical’, with the government struggling to pay salaries
April 2012 TUCOSWA’s registration is annulled
August 2013 King Mswati announces that God instructed him via a lightning bolt from a clear sky to rename Swaziland’s government system as ‘Monarchical Democracy’
20 September 2013 Elections for the Swazi House of Assembly