n Journal of African Elections - The state, elections and hidden protest : Swaziland's 2008 elections

Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



In many African countries elections are accompanied by conflict emanating from the concerns of different sections of the population. The continent has experienced numerous protests over election results or the manner in which electoral processes have been conducted. Yet while protest by organised groups has been admirably analysed by some scholars, their analysis falls short of providing a comprehensive picture of some of the more obscure reasons for the discontent. For a comprehensive understanding of sources of conflict around elections there is a need to look beyond the actions of organised groups into the realm of the not-so-spectacular hidden forms of protest by rural communities. Such research reveals not only the extent of unhappiness with existing electoral processes but also the extent to which voices of dissent are suppressed under pseudo-democratic dispensations. This article focuses on protests in Swaziland against the electoral process, adding the dimension of hidden forms of protest as they unfold in some rural communities.

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