King Mswati III, Swaziland

Mswati III is the King of Swaziland and head of the Swazi Royal Family. In 1986, he succeeded his father Sobbuza II as ruler of the southern African kingdom. He is generally considered to be one of the last absolute monarchs in the world, as he has the authority to appoint the country's Prime Minister, members of the cabinet, and the judiciary. However, he is bound to a certain degree by Swazi traditions and he does not have the authority to choose his heir. Mswati III is known for his taste for luxury and his practice of polygamy (although at least two wives are appointed by the state), and has been criticized abroad for pursuing his personal interests at the expense of his country, one of the poorest in the world. In 2001 he attempted to curb the AIDS epidemic by invoking an ancient chastity rite, the umchwasho, that banned women under the age of 18 from sex. Within Swaziland, Mswati is a respected and largely popular figure. However, his policies and opulent lifestyle have also triggered domestic protests and international criticism.

Josh, many thanks for enriching my collection with a great card from a great country! :)


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