Zimbabweans can vote in the United Kingdom even though the country withdrew from the Commonwealth, according to Lord McNally, British Minister of State for Justice.
Lord McNally was responding to a question by Lord Ashcroft in the House of Lords yesterday whether citizens of Zimbabwe and Fiji resident in the UK were entitled to vote in United Kingdom elections.
“All British, Republic of Ireland and qualifying Commonwealth citizens are entitled to register to vote in UK parliamentary elections, local elections, and European elections assuming that all of the other registration criteria are also met,” he said.
“For the purposes of registering to vote, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen is an individual who either does not need leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, or who does need such leave and has it.
“Citizens of Commonwealth countries retain their voting rights even if their country has withdrawn or is suspended from the Commonwealth organisation. Therefore eligible citizens of Zimbabwe and Fiji, resident in the United Kingdom, would be entitled to vote in United Kingdom elections.”