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Apr 13,2007
Pro-democracy protest ends in arrests
by UPI

MBABANE, Swaziland - Six members of a banned political party in Swaziland have been arrested for carrying "seditious" pamphlets during a pro-democracy demonstration.

The demonstration at five western border posts with South Africa was held on the anniversary of a 1973 royal decree banning organized political opposition groups in Swaziland, the U.N. news network IRIN reports.

Those arrested on Thursday were members of the People's Democratic Movement.

Also taking part in the protest was the Congress of South African Trade Unions whose members gathered on the South African side of the border.

Chris Maroleng, an analyst with a South African-based think tank, said the protests highlight a "decline in democratic space" in Swaziland.

The country has a system of government in which citizens living under palace-appointed chiefs elect members of parliament who then vote on laws prepared by the king's hand-picked cabinet.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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