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The Seimas of Lithuania on Thursday decided that a referendum on dual citizenship will be held in May alongside a president election.
Lithuanian passport
Lithuanian passport
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

66 lawmakers voted in favor of this decision, and four abstained.

Based on the adopted resolution, the binding referendum will be held on the adoption of such an amended text of Chapter 12 of the Lithuanian Constitution: "Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be acquired by birth or on other grounds established by the constitutional law. A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania by birth shall not lose citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania upon acquisition of citizenship of a state meeting European and transatlantic integration criteria defined by the constitutional law. With the exception of individual cases provided for by the constitutional law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time".

States' European and transatlantic integration criteria will be defined by the constitutional Law of Citizenship.

The dual citizenship referendum will be held on May 12 and May 26, alongside the first and second rounds of voting in the upcoming presidential election.

Following the adoption of the resolution on holding the dual citizenship referendum, the Lithuanian parliament plans to turn to the Constitution Court for it to rule on constitutionality of such a referendum. A resolution on turning to the Constitution Court was not put before parliament on Thursday, however.

Representatives of the opposition and former Constitutional Court judge Vytautas Sinkevičius have expressed doubt that the Seimas' decision to hold a referendum on two days two weeks apart might violate the constitutional principle of equality.

The Constitution currently does not let a Lithuanian citizen to be a citizen of another state at the same time, except for individual cases provided for by law.

If approved in a referendum, the proposed constitutional amendment would come into force on January 1, 2020.

BNS
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