Rwandans set to vote in UK elections?

The recent news that Rwanda is seeking membership of the Commonwealth means that, if successful, we would therefore be seeing Rwandan citizens resident in the UK also voting in elections here.

One of the quirks of Britain’s imperial past is that Commonwealth citizens living here are able to vote, including in Parliamentary elections. This includes Mozambique residents who are able to vote because, although Mozambique was not part of the British empire, it was admitted to the Commonwealth in 1995 for political reasons.

Rwanda’s application to join is part of its attempt to move away from its Francophone past. The recently announced plan to switch to teaching in English rather than French was justified on the basis of reflecting the relative importance of the two languages around the world but in truth part of the motivation is hostility to France on the part of the Tutsi-dominated Government for France’s alleged role in supporting the murderous Hutu regime under whom around 800,000 were murdered in the genocide of the mid-1990s.

Read more by .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

5 Comments

  • Interestingly, Portugal seems to be edging toward a sort of post-imperialism commonwealth of former colonies.

    We held an event in Crewe (!!) for the Portuguese/ Brazilian/ East Timorese diaspora in the North West attended by the Consul General. He was telling me that they are trying to build links with and between their ex-colonies. But I’m glad Mocambique joined the commonwealth – otherwise I’d never have had the chance to see one of the world’s greatest athletes, Maria Mutola [Commonwealth Games, Manchester, 2002]

  • Interesting.

    The issue of Commonwealth voting was brought up at last month’s Liberal Youth conference. Although it was not eventually passed, a motion was brought which would have meant calling for universal voting rights for all legal residents of the UK – thereby abolishing the Commonwealth preference.

    It will probably be brought again.

  • Hywel Morgan 1st Nov '08 - 10:54pm

    The Commonwealth citizens voting (and eligibility to stand is a pretty anachronistic provision. Would do no harm to end it and replace it with a residency qualification for non-EU citizens in local elections.

    Voting in national elections (bodies with legislative powers) should be restricted to UK citizens IMO.

  • Hywel Morgan 2nd Nov '08 - 11:34pm

    Ah – now allowing citizens of ICC member nations to vote I could go along with đŸ™‚

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Ruth Bright
    I liked what Daisy Cooper did about the D-Day/Rishi controversy. Reading from her Grandpa's war diary was high risk because it is so easy to sound mawkish - but...
  • Jenny Barnes
    "Every member will have had many communications by now asking them to prioritise their efforts in a specific seat." No, I haven't had any, let alone many....
  • nvelope2003
    Whatever the reason for the move to the right in some states maybe the British have seen where this leads and will reverse the trend here. One can but hope....
  • expats
    The Conservative manifesto launch was far more like the funeral for an unpopular corpse than a christening... Little about past achievements much on 'future sna...
  • Alex Macfie
    @Simon R: Comments like these are populist right-wing tropes: "The liberal left has become a shill for a failed EU establishment…" ...