ESwatini goes to polls as political parties remain banned

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The African kingdom of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, has gone to the polls that critics describe as a sham but supporters say are a unique blend of tradition and politics. News site Al Jazeera reports

Political parties are banned from taking part in the poll and the candidates are almost all seen as loyal to King Mswati III.

Fifty-nine seats will be decided through the election, while the king will directly appoint 10 more MPs.

A senior election official in eSwatini, which was previously known as Swaziland, said the system was perfect for a modern-day country that had chosen to preserve its rich cultures and traditions.

Earlier this week police used tear gas to disperse protesters who had joined trade union marches calling for wage increases.

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