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.
More than 500,000 registered voters will elect 55 parliamentarians to the House of Assembly on Friday. Political parties, however, are banned from the election.
King Mswati, the third, eSwatini’s powerful monarch, will appoint the remaining 10 to make up the lower house of 65 representatives. The elected MPs will then choose 10 senators for the upper house, while the king will select 20 more.
With a wide range of powers allowing the king to summon and dissolve parliament or declare a state of emergency, eSwatini – home to around 1.4 million people – is ranked among the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies.