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The referendum on dual citizenship will probably have to be moved to a later date, most likely to coincide with the Lithuanian presidential elections in 2019, says Parliamentary Speaker Loreta Graužinienė. Lithuanian expatriate communities have criticized plans to hold the referendum this October.
Dual citizenship referendum pushed back to 2019 - parliament speaker
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

"The position of the Lithuanian world communities was stated very clearly – they are against organizing the referendum in conjunction with the Seimas elections, so the issue will probably move to the coming, although still very distant, presidential election. I understand the concerns they (expatriates) have about insufficient voter turnout for crossing the threshold. I believe it is an issue for discussions, and politicians will agree with the Lithuanians living worldwide," Graužinienė told Žinių Radijas on Wednesday.

Politicians have suggested holding a referendum on dual citizenship, and the nearest general elections were listed as one of the possible dates. However, Lithuanian expatriate communities abroad fear that, under the current requirements, the attempt to legalize dual citizenship by way of referendum would not be successful.

Under Article 12 of the Lithuanian Constitution, nobody can hold citizenship of Lithuania and another country at the same time, with the exception of individual cases stipulated by law.

Lithuania's Constitutional Court has ruled that dual citizenship can only be allowed as a matter of course by way of changing the country's Constitution, something which needs a referendum.

Currently, dual citizenship is only allowed for citizens who left Lithuania before it regained independence in 1990 and their descendants.

BNS
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