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MP initiates simplified dual citizenship

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, April 26
An independent MP and Georgia’s former Foreign Minister (who was earlier barred from participating in the presidential election due to her French citizenship), Salome Zourabichvili, has initiated the removal of the note from the current Constitution of Georgia that prohibits dual citizenship.

Despite the fact that only the President of Georgia has the right to grant dual citizenship as an exception in some cases, Zourabichvili stressed the opportunity was related to “complicated procedures” and created problems for almost ? of Georgians living abroad.

The State Constitutional Commission, which has already presented the draft of changes in the country’s main legal code, also liked and reflected Zourabichvili’s initiative that envisaged the rejection of the 32nd article in the current Constitution.

If the draft of the constitutional changes are approved by Parliament (allegedly at the spring session this year), only the 'organic law' will regulate the dual citizenship issue that would enable thousands of Georgians living abroad to enjoy dual citizenship in a simplified manner.

The MP believes that the change would create better chances for Georgians living abroad to return to Georgia or do a beneficial job for their country from any foreign state.

Zourabichvili also went against the demand of some NGOs that offered prohibitions for the dual citizenship for those occupying senior state posts.

Zourabichvili stressed the initiative was “unfair”, and creates “artificial barriers” for Georgians to serve their country.

The key argument from the civil sector was that a person taking a high post could at the same time be a citizen of a country that is in a confrontation with Georgia, which may affect the state interests.

The registered initiative says that citizens having dual citizenship could take senior state posts.

Zourabichvili said though approving the changes in the draft of the constitutional amendments, the current government showed “it cared about its people”.