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Move to give expats voting rights in Bermuda rejected

Published:Monday | May 13, 2019 | 9:44 AM
CMC photo

HAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC — The British government has turned down a United Kingdom parliamentary committee proposal to give British residents in Bermuda the right to vote in elections in the island, the media reported on Monday.

The plan had earlier been rejected by Bermuda’s parliamentarians.

The UK government said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) did not plan to publish a timetable for talks but recognised the importance of a “reasonable qualifying process” to allow expatriates a place at the ballot box in its Overseas Territories.

In its response to a House of Commons committee report, the British government also said timetables would be set for the introduction of public company ownership registers and that it planned to hold workshops on their implementation “in the coming months.”

The Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this year recommended the launch of a consultation that would bring about a plan for a “pathway for all resident UK and British Overseas Territory citizens to be able to vote and hold elected office in territory”.

Its report, Global Britain and the Overseas Territories: Resetting the Relationship, added that the Foreign Office should set a timetable for the process and “set a deadline for phasing out discriminatory elements of belongership, or its territory-specific equivalents”.

In March, Bermuda legislators unanimously rejected the UK parliamentary committee report that recommended British citizens should vote.

Premier David Burt moved a motion in the House of Assembly to reject the report which he said was “the unwarranted and unjustified attempt at intervention into Bermuda’s domestic affairs.”

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