News in English

2019.05.18 13:56

No second citizenship referendum any time soon – President Grybauskaitė

Saulius Jakučionis, BNS2019.05.18 13:56

A new referendum on expanding dual citizenship could only be held when there is a change of circumstances, according to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė. She says that a second vote could not be held any time soon, since the public has already expressed its will.

“It [a second referendum – BNS] cannot be held soon, because the public has had its say. I believe it might be repeated later, with no doubt, under different circumstances,” the head of state told journalists in Vilnius on Friday.

Held on May 12, the referendum failed to pass constitutional amendment that would have allowed more Lithuanians to hold dual citizenship.

Almost 74 percent of those who came to vote, or 956,500 voters, backed the proposal to expand dual citizenship.

But for the Article 12 of the Constitutional to be amended, at least 1,236,203, or over a half of all eligible voters, had to vote in favour.

In the dual citizenship referendum May 12, voters were asked to vote on whether or not to amend Article 12 of the Constitution to allow Lithuanian citizens by birth to keep their Lithuanian citizenship when they acquire the citizenship of another country that meets the “European and transatlantic integration criteria”.

Under current laws, expatriates who emigrated after Lithuania regained independence on March 11, 1990, cannot have dual citizenship, excluding rare exceptions.