The Danish Social Democrats and Swaziland’s Swazi Democratic Party
In August 2012, The Danish Social Democratic Party (SDP) entered into a new partnership with the Swazi Democratic Party (SWADEPA) in Swaziland. The project aims at strengthening SWADEPAs organization and position as a strong force pressuring for multi-party democracy in Swaziland. The project is currently in its second phase and will run until the summer of 2017, though the partnership is expected to continue beyond this point.
About the Partnership
The project aims at achieving the following goals:
- Strengthening the organization, thereby building the pressure for democracy and empowering more Swazis.
- SWADEPA enforces its representation and performance at all legislative/political levels in Swaziland.
- SWADEPA is a vehicle for convening and representing the interests of marginalized groups in Swaziland – women, youth, disabled.
- Alliance building, domestically, by improving the cooperation in the democracy movement and internationally.
The Swazi Democratic Party
SWADEPA is a fairly new political party that was founded on September 24th, 2011. It is a party with one of the strongest forces for democracy in Swaziland and even though the talent and vison is already present, the party has reported that their strength had not been possible without the cooperation with SDP in the first project phase in 2012 and 2013.
The party grows out of a long history of opposition to the existing, authoritarian regime with a respected and well-known leadership that has a longstanding background in the labour movement which for many years has manifested itself as the main opposition force in Swaziland. SWADEPA was established following consistent requests from the labour movement with which the party is still closely affiliated.
Formed in 1871 on a social democratic ideology. With 47 of 179 seats, the Social democrats is the largest party in Parliament, but still lost the governing power at the Danish Parliamentary election in June 2015. The party leader is Mette Frederiksen, who replaced outgoing Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, in the wake of 2015 elections.
Through DIPD, the party also collaborates with the Egyptian Observatory for Training and Consultancy and Ghana’s National Democratic Congress.