Doubt over Croats in the UK being allowed to vote in 5 July elections

Update: Excellent news, the UK government has finally given consent for the elections to be held in the Croatian embassy in London.

A message from Brian Gallagher:

There is doubt over whether the UK will permit the Croatian embassy in London to open a polling station for Croatian citizens and dual nationals to vote in the 5 July general election. Under Croatian law, the embassy must know by 19 June, otherwise there can be no voting in London. This is due to the Covid-19 situation.

At time of writing, the embassy is still awaiting the final decision from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

It is difficult to see why it is permissible to go shopping to the popular clothes retailer Primark, but not to the Croatian embassy to vote. Further, there can be no doubt that the Croatian Embassy in London is more than capable of enforcing strict social distancing criteria, indeed rather more so than any shop.

To not hold elections in the embassy would damage the view of the UK amongst Croatians, many of whom would attribute it to old British prejudices against Croatia. Whilst I understand that all embassies in the UK have the exact same issue, I doubt this will be taken into consideration by many Croatian citizens.

To anyone concerned over this issue, please send an email directly to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Please ask them to give an positive answer to the embassy as soon i.e. allowing the vote to go ahead in London. Do be polite, keep it short and not raise any other grievance you may have.

Email the Foreign and Commonwealth Protocol Directorate at: Protocol.Enquiries@fco.gov.uk

Those who are UK citizens could try contacting their MP, if they so wish. See here: https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/

If you are very adventurous, you can submit a question about it at the UK government’s daily Covid-19 press conference: https://www.gov.uk/ask

Croatian citizens in the UK could contact their MEPs also, to see if they can raise the issue with UK representatives to the EU: https://www.sabor.hr/en/european-affairs/croatian-members-european-parliament

There is little time.

Let us hope that the above is superfluous, and that any replies will state the matter has already been resolved with Croatian citizens being permitted to vote.

Brian Gallagher

Update: News portal Croatia Week has given some excellent coverage here.

This entry was posted in Croatia's Foreign Relations, Croats Overseas/Disaspora. Bookmark the permalink.

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