Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)- To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure free and fair elections in Zimbabwe; and what discussions his Department has had with the UN on international action in that area.
Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs- The British Government's 2015 manifesto included a commitment to stand up for the rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe. Ahead of the 2018 elections, it is essential that reforms are made to the Zimbabwean electoral system, including strengthening the independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and removal of unconstitutional legislation which restricts democratic activity and human rights. With the Department for International Development, the FCO is working through a multi-donor programme to improve access to justice, media and information freedom and to improve the electoral environment in advance of the 2018 elections. Officials remain in close contact with international partners, including the UN, to co-ordinate support in the run up to the 2018 elections.